By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon
EDMOND – There was little suspense about which school would win the Class 5A girls swimming state championship.
But the race for second was a tight one.
At the conclusion of the meet, Carl Albert’s girls anxiously awaited the final team scores to be revealed. And when Bishop McGuinness was announced as the third-place winner, Carl Albert’s fans erupted.
The Lady Titans finished second overall at the 5A state meet Saturday at the Edmond Public Schools Aquatic Center. Shawnee won the 5A girls title.
Coach Josh Norman said the team’s hard work and resiliency paid off. The team struggled to find a pool for practice after Rose State College closed its pool due to maintenance issues.
“By all metrics, when you cut someone’s season in half and ask them to show up to a state championship and win, you’re asking for something pretty insane,” Norman said. “For us to reach the podium with half the amount of access to water that anybody in the building has is incredible. And we’re just blessed.”
Carl Albert finished in the top five in all three relays and earned six individual state medals.
Their best showing came in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Charlotte Peters, Helen Hammond, Abbey Snooks and Shelbie Price earned second with a time of 1:47.61 – finishing less than a half of a second behind Bishop McGuinness.
Snooks was the top individual performer with a pair of top-five finishes. She took fourth in the 100 freestyle (57.24) and fifth in the 100 backstroke (1:02.80).
The freestyle was especially pleasing for the senior.
“I was shocked that I got fourth in it, because last year I got sixth and I didn’t think I’d advance any higher,” she said.
Snooks capped the evening with a fifth-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay. She was joined by Journey Blackwell, Hammond, and Peters as they posted a time of 4:07.54.
Peters made a splash in her state debut. The freshman came in fourth in the 200 Individual Medley (2:27.32) and seventh in the 100 breaststroke (1:17.37).
Brooklyn Jones placed sixth in the 100 butterfly and Price was eighth in the 50 freestyle.
Carl Albert’s 200 medley relay team of Hailey Hunt, Ava Fritze, Jones and Price claimed fourth place in 2:12.24.
Shawnee, led by standout Piper McNeil, ran away with its second straight title. The Wolves won with 311 points followed by Carl Albert (215), Bishop McGuinness (199) and Altus (192.5). McNeil broke her own state record in the 100 backstroke and the Class 5A record in the 100 freestyle.