NYSPHSAA State Swimming Championship Welcomes Four Swimmers from WPHS
By Olivia Tuzel
To wear the title as a States qualifier is something that many high school swimmers strive to accomplish, but achieving this goal is far from easy. For months, swimmers muster up motivation to work tirelessly through cold water knowing that improvement awaits, even if not visible straight away.
When it was announced that four of White Plains High School’s talented swimmers qualified to attend and compete at the NYSPHSAA Girls Swimming and Diving Championships, it was no surprise. Led by Coach Gilmartin (WPHS Swim and Dive head coach), Taryn Beccera, Saskia Aikman, Grace Hricay, and Kara Ha were all sent off to the Webster Aquatic Center in November to swim against other swimmers from all over NY State. Naturally, this was very thrilling for the team.
“I was extremely happy that the girls made it to States; it is a challenging thing to achieve. We were all very excited to be there,” Coach Gil said. “I was, and still am, extremely proud of them.”
“Making states was probably one of the most exciting moments of my swim career,” Taryn, a senior, said. “We had been working so hard and finally got the times that we needed. Going into it, I was very excited to travel and meet swimmers from other schools.”
The four swimmers rippled through the waters with dedication radiating off each stroke. Coach Gil stood with them through thick and thin, constantly offering words of encouragement. Many people at the competition would acknowledge the four passionate young women that represented their school. As a result, the girls returned home with much success.
In the 200 free relay, the team placed 24th with the time of 1:41:81. Saskia Aikman swam a 50 free, and she stood on the podium for 3rd place at 23:61 seconds. Saskia also swam in the 100 free, getting 8th place at 52:94 seconds. Grace Hricay placed 28th in the 100 fly with a time of 1:00:06. In the end, Coach Gil and the girls agree that States was the best gift that they could have received for the holiday season.
“The experience was a lot of fun, but I was also nervous leading up to my events,” Saskia said. “Yet, I’m super happy that I had the opportunity to go.”
“My overall experience from States was amazing and definitely something I will not forget,” Taryn began. “No matter how our swims went, we were all there for each other and continued to motivate each other to do better. Since it was my last swim, it was an emotional trip but ended in smiles from memories made in States and swimming in general.”
“It was fun getting to know other swimmers within Section 1 while creating long lasting memories,” Kara said. “States was a great experience.”
The girls recognize that their performance has made them role models for many rising swimmers residing in White Plains. It is not every day that such potential shines from such young individuals. “The Orange” applauds and congratulates them all for achieving this major accomplishment, and wishes them the best of luck with their swimming careers!