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Girls swim and dive takes second at state

Junior+Maya+Townsend+placed+first+in+the+200%2C+100%2C+and+50+free+competitions+for+Athletes+with+Disabilities.
Joe Benoit
Junior Maya Townsend placed first in the 200, 100, and 50 free competitions for Athletes with Disabilities.

This year the North girls swim and dive team won second in state with two athletes, juniors Izzy Beu and Maya Townsend, becoming state champions in their respective categories. Sophomores Tess Stavropolous, Gianna Messina, Martyna Dobek, junior Taylor Gorka, along with seniors Holly Stachon and Lulu Wolff also went to state. 

Beu won first place in the 200 meter individual medley, which is a race including all four strokes. And she earned second place in the 100 meter fly. 

“It’s definitely a joy for me, I’ve been swimming competitively since I was eight,” said Beu.  “I feel like over the last couple of years I’ve had a lot more experience and so this year it was my eleventh and final swim there. So I definitely feel more experienced.”

These North Swimmers put in a lot of hard work to make it to state, and to be successful there. Beu has dedicated a lot of time to swimming and has a verbal commitment to swim at Georgia State University.

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Junior Izzy Beu took first place in the 200 meter individual medley.

“It’s a lot about what you do in the offseason. And I think especially you can kind of tell who’s at the top based on how much they’re willing to commit to the sport,” said Beu. “But it’s kind of a return on investment thing. If you put it in, you’re gonna get it out eventually.”

Townsend became a two-time state champion this year. Townsend competed in the Athlete with Disability category (AWD) in the 200 free, 50 free, 100 free, and 100 breaststroke, becoming state champion in the 200, 100, and 50 free. 

Competing in the Athlete with Disability category, there is a process of going through the Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association, which puts swimmers in a category based on their range of motion. 

“That determines if you are a B or an A. An A is more severe and B is less severe. The scale was from one to seven in A, and then eight to ten in B. I’m a six for all strokes, so that makes me an A, and in three of my races I was state champion,” said Townsend. 

The immense support from her coaches and teammates helped Townsend tremendously. Townsend attributes all of her success to these coaches and teammates, especially to Coach Rooney because he was the one who got her into swimming.

“Without him, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity twice in a row, and without all these amazing coaches that I’ve had for two years, to get to the point of being two-time state champion,” said Townsend. 

Girls swim and dive coach Robert Rooney is proud of all the team accomplished this season, not just for the girls who went to state, but for the entire team. 

“They’re so dedicated to being successful,” said Rooney. “They’re a very strong-willed group of girls that are driven to succeed.” 

While swimming is a lot about competing individually, as many races and events only allow one swimmer, the team is a big aspect of the sport. 

“They compete individually, but it’s all about a team,” said Rooney. “Successful high school programs work on building a team, fostering a team, and helping the team cultivate the right mindset to be successful.” 

Many girls are coming back to swim next year and are hoping to have another successful season.

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About the Contributor
Alex Bardouniotis, Sports Editor
Alex is a writer for the Stargazer. She is a senior at North and has been on the staff since November 2021. Alex engages in student journalism because digging deeper into real life events, problems, and situations, as well as exploring different angles and perceptions of things, is super fun! It also helps you, and others, to understand the way society works.

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