The Republic boys swim and dive team capped a season of constant record-breaking with a busy weekend at the state meet. Diver Justice Murray, who was a state competitor in each of the program’s first two seasons, turned in the highest finish, at 11th overall, with a score of 329.30.
“This year was definitely a more prepared year,” he said, “because I was expecting to learn more as far as my technique went, and as far as how well I completed my dives.” Last year was more of an introduction to the sport for Murray, but his 2020 season allowed him to refine the things he learned last year. His 11th-place finish also allowed him to earn team points for Republic, meeting one of his goals for the event.
“Knowing that I got points for my team at state as an individual is amazing, and it changed my mindset for next season because it shows me what i’m capable of and how much I can do for my team,” he said. “So the goal for next season is to get a medal, and be one of the best to do this in the school’s history… All that’s on my mind is ‘work.'”
The Tigers competed in two swim events, with Bryce Martin in the 200-yard individual medley and a team of Martin, Easton Bruton, Brady Lewis, and Seth Lock swimming in the 400-yard freestyle relay. In both events, the Tigers blew away previous team records.
The relay team finished in 3:34.64, shaving two and a half seconds off their previous best time. That was good for 17th overall.
Martin, in his individual event, finished 2.74 seconds ahead of his previous best, with a time of 2:08.46. That placed him 18th. Martin said the team’s success at the end of the season was set up by the way it started.
“We started our season with times close to last year’s, so we could truly build on our time cuts and make new team records instead of worrying about having to get back to where we were,” he said. “I was able to out-perform my previous personal records thanks to a lot of training in and out of season that has definitely paid off.”
Like Murray, Martin’s taste of state competition has whetted his appetite for more.
“Competing at state this year has definitely moved my bar higher, and I’m ready for new records next season, and (will) hopefully swim in all four events on the big stage,” he said.