Girls swim team secures another sectionals title to end season

Abi Zajac, Opinion Editor

For the seventh year in a row, the girls swim team took home a plaque that reads: “Sectionals 2020 Illinois IHSA Champions”.

The team wrapped up their season early this year with their final meet, IHSA Swim and Dive Sectionals, last Saturday at the Chuck Fruit Aquatic Center.

Normally, sectionals would not be the last competition for the girls, but COVID-19 has prevented state-wide competitions from happening this year.

EHS swimmers competed in all parts of the meet except diving.

The girls competed against 11 other teams: Alton, Chatham Glenwood, Collinsville, Granite City, Jacksonville, Jacksonville Routt, O’Fallon, Salem, Springfield High, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin and Springfield Southeast, according to the Edwardsville Intelligencer.

Most of the team is happy with their times, even if they weren’t as low as usual.

Senior Jordan Mercer placed fifth in the 500 meter heat. While it was her best time this season, it wasn’t her best time out of her four years she said.

Senior Phoebe Gremaud also had her best times this season, placing third in the 200 meter individual medley and second in the 100 meter backstroke.

Mercer attributes her slower times to COVID-19.

Fundamentals such as how they warm-up and how long their season is have changed.

One thing the girls said they’re missing is their away meets. All their meets were at EHS this year, and they competed against O’Fallon three times, when they normally would have competed at Chicago twice and Springfield a “few times,” according to senior Isabella Grinter.

Grinter said these away meets are important to the team not only in competing, but also in bonding.

“I think we really bonded in a different way this year,” Gremaud said. “Since we didn’t have those away meets, it made us closer in a different way.”

The girls swam their seven meets for empty stands, as COVID-19 prevented any spectators.

Isabella Grinter described the environment of competitions this year: “In the meets, we couldn’t have any parents, so we had to time ourselves; so it was kind of like a practice.”

Feeling similarly, her sister was thrown off by the empty bleachers at sectionals.

“It was different and not what I am used to,” senior Autumn said. “Sectionals is normally very loud, and you get to watch everyone swim, which makes it exciting.”

Fans still had the opportunity to watch the competition though; EHS Broadcasting Club live-streamed the event through Facebook.