HHS students qualify for state swim meet
Justin Schuver, Hartselle Enquirer
Two Hartselle students will be dreaming of a wet Christmas season.
Sophomore Jack Austill and senior Tyler Willis both qualified for the state swimming meet Dec. 10 at Auburn University. Each qualified by beating a pre-set state qualifying time in each of two events.
Austill qualified for state in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 1 minute, 6 seconds (qualifying time was 1:16) and in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:10 (qualifying time was 2:17).
Willis qualified in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 24.45 seconds (qualifying time was 25.25) and the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 55.81 (qualifying time was 56.76).
The Hartselle swim team is a swimmer-led program that receives no official recognition from the school. Austill and Willis were responsible for attending practices twice a day at the Aquadome Complex in Decatur, with the first practice sometimes taking place as early as 5 a.m.
"There's a lot of commitment for this sport," Austill said. "We do two practices a day and one of them is early in the morning. We're putting in close to 8,000 yards (a little over 4.5 miles) of swimming per day getting ready for state."
The state meet is held at the James E. Martin Aquatic Center on the campus of Auburn University. Each event starts with preliminary competition, opening with the 200-yard medley relay preliminaries at 9 a.m.
The top 16 finishers in each event move onto the finals, which begin at 6:30 p.m. starting with the 200-yard medley relay. The top eight finishers in the final heat win medals.