BANG! And they’re off!
Cold water surrounded the swimmers as they dove into the pool to begin their races at the LHSAA State Meet in Sulphur, LA. Excitement filled their faces as they exited the pool, claiming fifth place in state.
Senior Rileigh Centanni placed second overall in the 100-yard breast stroke with a time of 1:09.49. Centanni also exceled in the 100-yard fly by placing in the top 16. “I’m so proud of myself and the team in how we did. It was a great way to end the season!” said Centanni.
Thirteen girls, ranging from eighth grade to senior year, qualified for state: eighth graders Kaylee Caro and Brianna Leatham; freshmen Riley Crespo, Brooke DiMaggio and Allyson Johnson; sophomores Olivia Cassreino, Catherine Kernion, Cecilia Hanemann and Emma Sullivan; junior Audrey Wild; and seniors Reese Centanni, Rileigh Centanni and Morgan Gunnels.
The swim team’s record of success didn’t start with state. At the District Meet in mid-October at the UNO Aquatic Center, the girls dominated the pool and earned second place. Additionally, the team placed fifth at the Metro Meet which also took place at UNO later that month.
Many team members had travelled to the state meet before, but for eighth graders Kaylee Caro and Brianna Leatham, it was a first-time experience like no other. “I was excited to go because everyone is supportive, and the seniors are so welcoming,” said Leatham.
Teammates cheering on teammates brings joy to Ms. Erin Baker’s eyes. “The girls learn it’s not just an individual sport. They also have to cheer on their teammates,” said Ms. Baker (’95), swim team moderator.
With morning practices twice a week and meets once a week since the start of school, the swim team puts so much effort into everything they do. “[This season] I’ve learned how much you put in is how much you get out,” said Kernion. “If you work hard enough you’ll achieve your goals!”
As longtime members of the team since eighth grade, Gunnels and the Centanni twins, Rileigh and Reese, have made their last splash into the water wearing the DHS uniform. “It’s sad because it’s something I’ve doing for so long,” said Gunnels. “This team made me a better person.
“Everyone on the team has shown me how to be the best person I can be and to never give up.”
- Isabelle Fitzmorris