EHS Swimmer Captures State Medal

Emily Kloostra, Staff Writer

After three years, another girls swimmer has won a state medal.

Senior Josie Bushell finished 12th in the 100-yard freestyle at the Nov. 23 IHSA State Finals. While this was her fourth time at state, it was her first time swimming in the finals.

“It was great…” she said. “It was very different and intimidating coming back and swimming a second day.”

The intimidation comes from the difference in competition, Bushell said.

“A lot of the Chicago girls are very tall and muscular,” she said. “There are just so many fast girls at the state meet.”

Bushell was one of six athletes from EHS that qualified for state. Junior Allison Naylor swam in the 200 and 400-yard freestyle relays, and she said that the state meet has a larger crowd than other meets, which contributes to the more intense atmosphere.

“They are very loud and they put a lot of pressure on those who are swimming by cheering for their swimmers,” she said.

Junior Phoebe Gremaud won the 100-yard backstroke at sectionals and was excited to swim at state.

“It is such a hard thing to accomplish,” Gremaud said. “My teammates and I had worked really hard in order to get to that meet.”

She also noted the intensity of the meet, and she said it pushed her to compete harder.

“I just wanted to swim fast given the fast environment and atmosphere up there,” she said, “because you have so many people watching you so you want to perform well.”

While Gremaud reached her goal of swimming at state, she said that the athletes had to “trust the process” this year.

“Everyone works so hard and sometimes it takes longer for others to see the results and progress they want…” she said. “We had to continue to work hard without results and had to trust that eventually we would reap the benefits.”

Naylor said that her favorite part of the meet was “taking it all in.”

“It’s such a huge honor to get to compete at a meet like that and against such amazing swimmers,” Naylor said. “It’s important to me to stay humble.”