The student news site of Lancaster High School

Eye of the Gale

The student news site of Lancaster High School

Eye of the Gale

The student news site of Lancaster High School

Eye of the Gale

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

Making Waves to Championship

Some LHS swimmers go to state
LHS 2023-2024 swim team. Photo courtesy of Erin Pennington.

Lancaster High School’s swim team won the OCC title for the fourth year in a row. They also sent two swimmers to state. Individual junior Jackson Hensley placed eighth in the 200-yard individual medley overall. Coach Crist described some of the peak points of the season.

“So far, we have had great success against all opponents that we have swam against. The boys’ team placed first in the OCC Buckeye Division while the girls’ team placed second in the OCC Buckeye Division,” coach Crist said.

LHS senior Max Hensley and LHS junior Jackson Hensley. Photo courtesy of Michele Hensley.

Jackson Hensley talked about his athletic year appreciating making it to his third OCC and completing his goal from last year.

“My athletic year this year is promising and fulfilling, though I have not swam the district or state championship meet yet, my progress I have made throughout this season has been very promising and hopefully rewarding. It has also been fulfilling in the sense that our boys’ team won the OCC championship meet for the 4th consecutive season,” Hensley explained.

LHS senior Drea Echard. Photo courtesy Gales Swimming.

Senior Drea Echard feels surreal about this being her last year.

“I never thought my last year of swimming would come because I’ve been swimming since I was four; but here it was and I was excited for whatever it had to bring,” she said.

¨It was the best season I’ve ever experienced thanks to my teammates who surrounded me on the deck and especially my coaches. We made it a point every meet, practice, or team bonding to have fun and enjoy each other’s company,” Echard said.

For her final year, Marleen Byers had many accomplishments to discuss.

LHS senior Marleen Byers. Photo courtesy of Gales Swimming.

¨This year’s highlights include dropping a second in my 100 Butterfly at the very first meet of the season, the Ned Reeb Invitational. Later in the season, I was named Team Captain with a few of my fellow seniors, Drea Echard, Johnathan Pennington, Brayden Dennison, and Max Hensley, which was particularly important to me. Also, during my Senior Night I won the 50 Breaststroke race, and I got to swim some relays with my fellow senior friends,” Byers said.

As for Echard’s last season, she enjoyed being with all her teammates.

“My highlights of this season have to be all of the meets this year. We all hung out as a team and cheered everyone on no matter what. Our support for one another was like nothing else I’ve experienced. Another huge highlight of this season for me was becoming a team captain, it was an honor to be a captain of this team along with all my other captains by my side we all had a blast together leading the team,” she said.

As all teams do, they also had some highs and lows throughout the season with their lead senior male dropping out.

“The biggest challenge we faced this season was one of our best male swimmers deciding to forgo his senior year of swimming, however many of the freshman and other swimmers have filled his spot,” Hensley said.

The most challenging part for Byers of this season was fighting fatigue and illness.

¨I’ve tried to stay in the water as much as possible, however staying healthy has to be a top priority, and to do that I have to miss practice sometimes. For the team, the most challenging part of the season was probably just finding our rhythm at the beginning and working out who would swim what races. I know a lot of my teammates who did not figure out what their best and favorite races were until right before OCCs,” Byers explained.

Losing races and meets is never fun but part of the sport.

¨We have lost a lot of races and a couple of meets. There have been meets where swimmers have added time to their events and felt like they had hit a plateau in their season. These can all be very frustrating,” coach Crist said.

Challenges aside, the LHS swim teams finished the season with a splash.

“The boys’ team is really outstanding this year. Major point contributors are Jack Hensley, Max Hensley, Will McMasters, and Camden Morris. They round out our winning relay team,” said Crist.

While the boys did exceptionally well so did the girls’ team.

¨On our girls’ team, we have a great team. Marlee Byers, Drea Echard, and Amelia Robertson bring in big points,¨Christ concluded.

More to Discover