CHESTERFIELD -- In just its second year as a team, the Altavista High School varsity swim team took 12 swimmers to the state championships, earned seven all-region swimming honors, and boasted an all-state swimmer. On top of that, sophomore Kristopher Schultz medaled in both of his individual events, taking third in the 200 intermediate medley and fourth in the 500 freestyle.
The state championships meet took place at the state-of-the-art facilities of SwimRVA in Chesterfield on Feb. 19.
Because so few class 1 schools in the commonwealth have swim teams, tiny school and newcomer Altavista has to compete in class 2 at the regional and state levels. That didn’t stop the aquatic Colonels from finishing strong.
The boys as a team finished 16th in the state championships (out of 31), one place ahead of fellow Dogwood District school Appomattox. The girls finished 23rd (out of 29), tied with Parry McCluer and not far behind Appomattox (19th). The only other schools from this area that had swimmers place in the state finals were Central (Lunenburg, 12th boys, 27th girls) and Prince Edward County (30th boys, 15th girls).
Overall first place for the boys was Radford (with 277 points, one ahead of Virginia High School). First place for the girls’ teams was Glenvar (242 points).
The Colonels’ 12 swimmers combined for a total of 14 entries (counting each four-person relay team as one entry). Swimming at the state championships can be particularly grueling because competitors must race in the morning in qualifying heats, and then the top 16 in each event do it all over again that same evening in the finals. So, for instance, Schultz swam 750 yards—twice—and Micah Andrews swam 650, also twice.
All-region swimming honorees for Altavista included Leah Andrews, Micah Andrews, Emmaleigh Stallard, Dana Phillips, Emily Giles, Kristopher Schultz, and Justin Wingfield. Schultz also earned all-state honors in the 200 I.M.
Assistant coach Kim Schultz said, “It was an excellent showing from our team! We’re super proud!”
Even more good news for the Altavista swim team is that of the state competitors, one is a senior, one a junior, and all the rest are freshmen and sophomores. That and some eighth graders with consistently fast times bodes well for the program in years to come.
200 medley relay — Altavista (Tony Chavez, Kristopher Schultz, Justin Wingfield, Eli Schubert) 14th, 2:14.99.
200 I.M. — Schultz 3rd, 2:08.39.
100 butterfly — Wingfield 15th, 1:15.03.
500 freestyle — Schultz 4th, 5:19.87.
200 medley relay — Altavista (Emmaleigh Stallard, Rachel Case, Micah Andrews, Courtney Green) 15th, 2:32.66.
200 freestyle — Emily Giles 20th, 2:38.60; Leah Andrews 22nd, 2:43.77.
200 I.M. — Stallard 15th, 2:59.92.
100 butterfly — M. Andrews 16th, 1:30.60.
500 freestyle — M. Andrews 10th, 6:29.55.
100 backstroke — Stallard 18th, 1:17.74; L. Andrews 20th, 1:22.61.
100 breaststroke -- Trinity Shirlen 19th, 1:33.94.
400 freestyle relay — Altavista (L. Andrews, Stallard, Dana Phillips, Giles).
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