WSHS swimmers take on the county meet as the road to state draws to a close


Katie Stanek

Annie Kannady (12) swims the 50 breaststroke race during the 2020 county championship meet on Saturday, Jan. 25. The meet lasted the entire day, starting with the qualifying races in the morning and ending with finals in the evening.

As the state swim competition approaches, the WSHS swim team prepares both in and out of the water. Rachel Kannady, after seven years of coaching swim at WSHS, has the checklist down pat. The first item on the countdown to state? The 2020 county meet at St. George’s Independent School. 

“It’s your last chance to make your state cuts,” Coach Kannady said.

Although it’s the swimmer’s last opportunity to make a state time for their particular race, the county meet offers a chance for the swimmers to have fun before state as well. 

“For me, county is the last hurrah, locally,” Coach Kannady said.

The meet holds special memories for every swimmer, from the seniors to those who reach their state time at the meet. This year’s finals were a big stepping stone for the team. Leigh Bruno (10) made the state cut for the 100-meter backstroke race. Annie Kannady (12) just enjoyed her last finals.

“I really like finals because… they’re a lot of fun and there’s a lot of energy, but it’s a lot more relaxed than a lot of normal preliminary finals meets are,” Kannady said.

The county meet has two parts – the morning qualifiers with all the swimmers who made the county cut and the evening finals with only the top 16 swimmers of each event competing. WSHS placed 9th in the girls category, 11th the boys category and 10th overall out of 22 teams. Even though the team didn’t get a trophy, the memories made and the excitement about state drown out any disappointment.

“I decided… six years ago that if we weren’t going to have the biggest trophy, then we were going to have the most fun on the pool deck,” Coach Kannady said.