AUDUBON - After another superb season with the Atlantic swim team, senior Clare Christensen and sophomore Aleah Hermansen are making their way back to the state swim meet.
After placing eighth in the 50 yard freestyle race, and eighth in the 100 yard freestyle as well, Christensen now prepares for her third consecutive and final trip to the state tournament.
“It doesn’t get any bigger than this and I’m really excited,” Christensen said. “With all the schools that will be there and our relays are ranked 12th and 16th right now so they’re pretty high up there, and with my individuals being at eighth, I’m looking forward to see what I can do at state after prelims.”
Christensen is also a part of the 200 yard freestyle relay team that placed 12th overall from 32 schools and is a part of the 400 yard freestyle relay that placed 16th and will head to Marshalltown as well.
Within that team is also sophomore Aleah Hermansen, who lead the relay. This is Hermansen’s second trip to the big stage and she looks to beat her time from last year’s state appearance.
“It’s an incredible feeling to get back to state,” Hermansen said. “It was awesome to make it there as freshman, but now to make it again as a sophomore is great, and now that I’ve felt the feeling once, I knew what it took to get back here. I’ve just been working hard this season to prepare for this big meet and hopefully I can top my times from last time.”
In past years, Christensen had done other races such as the 100 yard butterfly. Though she did well in that race as well, Christensen wanted to try something new and after trying the 100 yard freestyle, it stuck.
“My times in the butterfly were right up there too,” Christensen said. “I probably could’ve qualified in that event, but I wanted to try something different and I only swam the 100 freestyle once in this season, but I wanted to see if I could qualify for another event for state, and I did.”
These two girls, along with the rest of the Trojan swim team, have been working since August for this.
In addition the swimmers are used to going against schools that would typically be as big as 4A schools, and that helps enhance the competition.
“We’ve beaten out a lot of the teams that are at the 3A and 4A level,” Hermansen said. “Our swim program has just been that strong at state. It’ll be tough, we’ll be against schools like Dowling (West Des Moines), Ames, and a bunch of other bigger schools, so we’re just going to have to go out and compete.”
The state swim meet will be in Marshalltown this Saturday through Sunday at the Marshalltown YMCA/YWCA.