Maddy Dillon, Staff Writer
The Fighting Owls Swim Team ended the season with a splash at the Appalachian Swimming Conference in Athens, Ohio in February.
While every team member swam lifetime best performances, even more impressive, six swimmers qualified for the 2011 NAIA Swimming and Diving Championships held March 2-5 in St. Peters, Missouri.
For individual events, first-year Audrey Hollingsworth qualified in both the 50- and 100-yard freestyle. The latter broke a ten- year-old varsity record with a time of 56.47.
Junior and team co-captain Amelia Hubbard qualified in the 200-yard freestyle, 400-yard individual medley (5:11.43) and the 500-yard freestyle (5:36.60). The latter two events also made varsity records. Four relays (200-yard medley and freestyle, 400- yard medley and freestyle) featuring first- years Alessia Faverio, Breanna Roberts and Laetitia Mead also qualified for the national championships.
For the men’s team, junior and co-captain Johnathon Bland qualified in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke.
“I couldn’t have done it without my team yelling at me to go faster,” Bland said. The Owls’ team spirit was striking; whenever a teammate was racing, the rest of the team was cheering in front of their lane.
“It was fun. The team was really supportive of each other,” Hubbard said.
The Owls were excited to finish the season with lifetime best performances. “I broke the goal that I set for the season,” first-year Davis Jones said.
The team shaved the night before the meet, hoping to drop time in their events.
“My stroke was as smooth as my newly shaved legs,” Jones said.
Coach Andrew Pulsifer was proud of the efforts the team made.
“We think of Andrew as a father figure,” said first-year Emily Sprouse.
This is Pulsifer’s third season coaching the Warren Wilson Swim Team.
The women’s team finished 11th place and the men were 12th out of 15 teams competing.
[Correction: In the print issue, the photo was credited to Josh Reiss. The team coach, Andrew Pulsifer, took the photo.]