State Championship Swim Meet

Maddy Snyder, Staff Editor/Writer

The Zachary High swim team finished in the top twenty at the state championship, leaving swimmers and coaches alike elated. 

The first day of Thanksgiving break is a time to relax for most students. Sleeping in, hanging out with friends, and knowing you won’t step foot in school for a week fill that Saturday with bliss. But that wasn’t the case for Zachary High’s swim team. While most students were enjoying their break, the swim team faced its greatest challenge yet: the state championship. 

The championship was held on Friday, November 18, with finals taking place on Saturday, November 19, in Sulphur, Louisiana. Every LHSAA Division 1 team in the state can send relay teams to the championship, but to compete individually, a swimmer must have qualified at some point over the course of the season. This year a whopping five swimmers from Zachary High qualified to compete individually at the state level: Jackson Sanchez (12) for the 50 free and 100 breast, Reece Achord (11) for the 100 breast and 500 free, Evelyn Deroche (10) for the 50 free and 100 fly, Joseph Johnson (10) for the 50 free, and Jamarcus Samuel (10) for the 50 free, 100 back, and 100 breast. 

Though no swimmers qualified to compete in finals on Saturday, Achord and Samuel swam personal best times, leaving them ecstatic. “To drop almost three seconds on 100 breast and close to nine seconds on 500 free… I was very proud of that. I was really happy,” said Achord. Additionally, Samule said, “I felt pretty good about it. I just gave it my best… gave it my all,” in response to the 40 millisecond drop on his 50 free. 

Six relay teams also competed at championships. Of the six, three made it to finals. The Girls’ 400 Free relay, consisting of Maddy Snyder (10), Lillian Funk (10), Chloe Wedblad (9), and Evelyn Deroche (10), dropped approximately six seconds, placing 14th. The Boys’ 200 Medley relay, consisting of Matthew Hughes (10) swimming back, Reece Achord (11) swimming breast, Trae James (12) swimming fly, and Joseph Johnson (10) swimming free, dropped approximately ten milliseconds, placing 13th. And, the Boys’ 200 Free relay, consisting of Jamarcus Samuel (10), Jackson Sanchez (12), Trae James (12), and Joseph Johnson (10), dropped about a second, placing 11th. 

The team finished in the top twenty overall, making their school proud. Good job, Broncos!