Boys relay team takes on states

The+relay+team+poses+for+a+picture.+%28left+to+right%29+Senior+Aaron+Boyd%2C+Senior+Gabe+Martino%2C+Junior+Ben+Padrutt%2C+and+Senior+Luke+Daggle.
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Boys relay team takes on states

The relay team poses for a picture. (left to right) Senior Aaron Boyd, Senior Gabe Martino, Junior Ben Padrutt, and Senior Luke Daggle.

The relay team poses for a picture. (left to right) Senior Aaron Boyd, Senior Gabe Martino, Junior Ben Padrutt, and Senior Luke Daggle.

Photo Courtesy of Gabe Martino

The relay team poses for a picture. (left to right) Senior Aaron Boyd, Senior Gabe Martino, Junior Ben Padrutt, and Senior Luke Daggle.

Photo Courtesy of Gabe Martino

Photo Courtesy of Gabe Martino

The relay team poses for a picture. (left to right) Senior Aaron Boyd, Senior Gabe Martino, Junior Ben Padrutt, and Senior Luke Daggle.

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The Atoms Boys 200-meter relay team qualified for states and will be swimming at George Mason on Friday the 19th. The relay team broke the 200-meter relay school record at the Region 6A Swim and Dive Championships, finishing in 11th place with a time of 1:28.84. Senior Aaron Boyd, a key swimmer on the relay team, didn’t only place first in the 100 freestyle, but also broke the school record with a time of 45.2 seconds.

“The competition is very tough, our region is one of the fastest in the country. We try our hardest every meet so we just have to hope for the best at states,” Boyd said.

States are coming up and more talent will be present. Having little time to prepare for the biggest race of the relay team’s high school years, the team is focusing on some key points.

“For states, we are focusing a lot more on relay starts and freestyle sprints instead of the rest of the strokes and there are a lot less people at practice,” junior Ben Padrutt said.

These students are taking states very seriously and planning on representing their school to the best of their ability by working harder and knowing that it will all be rewarding if they perform to their full extent.

“There’s definitely more of an ‘elite’ touch to states, you truly have to earn your place to perform there, and it’s much more rewarding to swim there than in a normal dual meet,” senior Gabe Martino said. “Everything is a lot more serious, the team next to you is milliseconds ahead or behind you, so everyone is on their A-game the entire time. We practice harder for it, and for us seniors, we know it’ll be the last time we’ll get to represent Annandale in the water.”

One aspect of states which will definitely be different than regionals is their placement. After coming in 11th place at regionals, they have high hopes of making top 15 at states.

“There are a lot more teams coming to states,” Padrutt said. “But we have been training really hard and I think we’ll do about the same in states despite the new teams coming.”

His teammate, Luke Daggle also commented saying “We expect to make it to state finals. I think this because we had a fast enough time last year to qualify but we disqualified, so as long as we don’t make the same mistake we should definitely be faster.”

Even though the competition will be harder, they will try their hardest as they do every meet and hopefully accomplish their best time yet.

“Being in top shape allows you to perform at your highest level and give you that much of an edge over the competition,” Padrutt said.

Overall, they hope to make a great impression and stand out at states by working their hardest this week and being prepared to take that win.

“Our district for our state is one of the most competitive districts in the nation,” Martino said.  “Virginia has amazing swimmers, and we will definitely have to go above and beyond to stand out among the other competitors, we will be trying our absolute hardest.”

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