Shockwave bring home eight individual state titles
The Starkville branch of the Shockwave Aquatic Swim Team claimed eight individual state last weekend in Cleveland.
It turns out to be the final competition of the summer season for the Starkville members of the squad.
Starkville had four qualifiers for this week's regional championships in Atlanta, but Laken Vickers, Cheng Ye, Andy Bond and Adina Harri have chosen not to participate at the meet hosted by Georgia Tech.
"They had other obligations," Shockwave coach Robert Gonzalez said. "We had one flying out to Denver and one that's going to be at a wedding. Unfortunately the timing of the meet being right before school, it's really killing numbers. Something we're going to be looking at is the meet date. I was really hoping to get all four there."
Gonzalez said the economic burden of back-to-back meets has been felt across the state.
"With all of our branches, we had 36 qualified (for regionals), but only 21 going," Gonzalez said. "Going to back-to-back championship meets, it does get very long and there's the meet fees. The bottom line is it's just tough to make those trips back-to-back."
Gonzalez is still pleased that the local Shockwave team was able to finish second in the state and have eight individual event winners.
As a team, the Shockwave scored around the same number of points as it did in last year's state championship meet. Gonzalez said the Friday and Saturday performances were "exceptionally good," especially in the breaststroke and individual medley events.
CiCi Zhang won the 50 and 100 breaststroke, the 50 freestyle and 50 backstroke, while Ye won the 100 breaststroke and the 200 breaststroke and Vickers won the 100 breaststroke and 200 breaststroke.
Gonzalez said the goal for the future will be to develop depth with the younger divisions so Starkville can compete better across the board.
"The major difference at the meet were in the younger divisions," Gonzalez said. "It's no fault at all to them. It's just the fact they were out-numbered completely. That means we are going to have to re-evaluate our strategy as far as being able to maintain numbers throughout the divisions because it's just hard competing with our population and Jackson's population."