By TJ Millman
Swimming is a unique sport in that it is both a team and individual sport. During the regular season the team comes first, but in the back of every swimmer’s mind is the state qualifying times. As a swimmer touches the wall, their head snaps up in anticipation to see if they have made the state cut-line. This year the Milford Bucs sent four individual swimmers to compete at the Delaware State Championships. Junior Brea Wells and Senior Megan Wolfe competed for the Lady Bucs. Sophomores Ben Sobota and Stone Davis represented the Milford Boys Team.
The DIAA State Meet takes place at the University of Delaware and features all of the top swimmers in the state. There are no more divisions and every swimmer is competing for the title of State Champion. As most Delaware sports go, the meet tends to be dominated by larger up-state schools that can pick and choose their athletes.
The first Milford swimmer to compete was senior Megan Wolfe in the 50 yard freestyle. The 50 free is the most exciting race, lasting for less than 30 seconds, and is usually won by the smallest of margins. With just under 100 swimmers qualifying it was also the largest field of all the events. Wolfe held her own, finishing 65th in the state, with a time that was only four seconds behind the winner.
Next up for Milford was junior Brea Wells in the 100 yard backstroke. Wells had previously finished 6th in the Henlopen Conference for her backstroke and looked to follow up with another strong performance in Newark. Wells dropped almost two seconds off of her time from the conference meet and finished 23rd in the state, the second highest finish for a Milford swimmer at this year’s meet.
Sophomore Stone Davis swam in both the 50 yard freestyle and the 200 yard freestyle. Davis finished 65th in the 50 free, only three seconds behind the winner. His greater success was in the 200 yard freestyle, a race that is supposed to be about distance but still looks like a sprint. Davis came in at just over two minutes and finished 32nd in the state, a big accomplishment for any high school sophomore.
Ben Sobota was the other sophomore representing Milford, and his performance in the 50 yard freestyle made quite a splash. After an impressive 3rd place finish in the Henlopen Conference Meet, Sobota was ready to measure up against the talent from up north. Sobota climbed his way into the finals and managed to finish 16th out of the 80 man field. Sobota also finished 31st in the 100 yard freestyle. Head Coach Jenna Dodd was equally impressed by Sobota’s performance. “Making your way into the Finals at the State Meet is a big deal. Doing it as a sophomore is even more impressive,” Dodd said.
The future is bright for the Bucs with three of their four state qualifiers returning next year. As the curtains close on another season the Bucs can rest easy knowing that they made themselves known at the State Championships.