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Write On: The Final Stretch by Mckenzie Cole

Essay by: Mckenzie Cole

Roseau Community School

Mrs. Didrikson, College Writing 1101 The conference swim meet this year was the most fun I've had swimming in a long time. The Fosston pool is so small so when you pack four teams in there the energy is insane. Everyone was so excited to be there and so excited to succeed. I was so pumped up to compete and beat some of the girls I had been training to beat. My team was cheering and having a great meet overall. I swam some of my best races of the year. We were neck and neck with Thief River Falls with the final races coming up and everyone was cheering louder than ever.

The 200 free relay, our team's strongest relay, was ready to go. Eliza, Lanae, Kayla, and I met in our circle and pumped each other up to swim our best race of the night. When the horn went off Eliza shot off the blocks and swam a great first 50, then it was Lanae who put in her most amount of effort and swam another great 50. The third swimmer was me and I was ready to go. I swam as fast as I could and had my best 50 ever. Kayla is our swimmer who brings home the race for us. She almost out touched TRF, who is always our biggest competitor, but instead we got second. We were bummed but not too much because the points we got still held our team in first place. The last few races went fast and everyone cheered as loud as they could and swam as fast as they could. The final scores came out and we were in second place. We weren't surprised because we normally fall short to TRF in the backstroke. We were all still so proud of everything our team accomplished and how connected the team felt that night.

The next Monday we started drag and the two weeks in "hell." The most dreaded time of the year because our coaches push as hard as they can for as long as they can. Our sets are designed to make us puke. The team worked hard during these two weeks in order to be able to out swim some of the best swimmers at sections. 

We left for sections on Friday morning and were ready to take down anyone that stood in our way. My coach decided to put me in the 100 fly, my best race, the 200 free, my second best race, and then the two relays I'd been swimming on all year. I had worked so hard for this meet and I was so pumped to get in the pool and kick ass. The night went quick and I swam my best races ever. I got personal bests in every single event. I was ready to go into finals the next day. 

When warm-ups started for the finals day I was nervous, but also very ready to swim. Once I started my first race it seemed like every single stroke I took was stronger. Again, the 200 free relay rolled around and us girls were ready. We all swam personal bests and we got fifth overall, beating some of the best teams in the section. Sadly, this was the last time I'd swim a race with my cousin Kayla. We all hugged and cried knowing that was the last time our relay would dive in together. The whole team cried at the end of the meet. It was the last time many of us would swim together and one of the most challenging seasons we'd ever had was over.

I left sections and the 2021 swim season knowing I left everything in the pool, just like my coach always tells me to. I cannot wait to take on my senior season and lead my team into more great meets and memories.


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