Swim Teams Excel At NCHSAA States

Tate Bacon sets two state records as a part of the four boys and two girls who competed

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Ella Bowman, Online Editor

After doing well in conference, the swim team set its sights on a larger player field, with six of our swimmers qualifying at the state level. They competed against  victorious swimmers from throughout the state.. 

Swimmer Clarissa Bezuidenhout, junior shows her gratitude toward this opportunity.  

“It’s pretty special because that means you’re top in the state, which is very cool because you get to compete with not only people that live close, but also with people who live all around the state,” Clarissa said.

Clarissa finished 17th in the 200 free and 14th in the 500 free. 

Just like the qualifiers worked hard, their coaches, Justin Richards and club coaches, put in many hours to help their swimmers reach this level of competition. 

“I am really appreciative of them because they always pushed me to do my best and get better. They always made sure that I didn’t give up,” Clarissa said. 

Clarissa’s teammate and twin sister, Chrisna, concurred. “Each of my coaches have had a different impact on my swimming career,” Chrisna said. “They all have motivated me to be my best and all helped me to get to this point.”

Chrisna finished 11th in the 100 Fly and 17th in the 100 Back. 

Many of the qualifiers felt the same sensation when beating our cross-town rivals Heritage and Wakefield.

“We were pretty hyped,” junior Max Westfall said.

“It was a wild thing to see,” sophomore Nicholas Caporaso said. 

Westfall and Caporaso both swam legs in the 200 Medley Relay and the 200 free relay with seniors Tate Bacon and David Quaresma. The team took 6th in the medley (1:35.21) and 4th in the free relay (1:26.17). 

But no one ever said it would be easy to achieve that level. 

“It was the first season in a while that we actually beat both of them so I would say the team reacted pretty well,” Clarissa said. “We were all really happy about it.”

Bacon finished off the meet setting two new state records in the 100 Back and the 50 free, as the lead off in the 200 relay. Bacon is committed to Swimming and Diving at the University of Notre Dame. He has been a part of our swim team for four years and being a state qualifier left him with a different feeling as he finishes off his senior year. 

“Being a state qualifier is more rewarding this year because of my teammates that were able to qualify,” Bacon said. 

Another senior qualifier was Quaresma. Quaresma worked hard and helped his team sneak their way up into the medal place spot. He took 3rd in the 200 free and 5th in the 500 free. 

Although these amazing moments are highlighted, swimming takes a lot of commitment and time to get to the level of success that these qualifiers are at. 

“Just all the hard work. Waking up at four in the morning multiple times a week, practicing nine times a week is a lot,” Quaresma said. 

Westfall shares some of his secrets to staying on top of the swimming and getting past the hard parts.

“Definitely with the amount of yardage we do, and the technique work has really brought me to the level that I am now,” Westfall said. “And for myself, keeping a good balanced diet, drinking a lot of water, stretching, that kind of thing.”

As the season closes, the swimmers reflect on memories they hope to always remember. 

“I don’t want to forget the amazing people I have met throughout high-school and swimming,” Bacon said. 

“I definitely will not forget winning a medal, and being part of what will most likely be the best team Wake Forest High school will ever have,” Westfall said. 

After all the qualifiers’ hard work, they were able to pull off a successful state meet, finishing 5th among the boys’ teams in the state. 

“You know what, we came in there and didn’t expect to get a medal, but we got the fourth place medal so we’ll take it,” Caporasa said.