NSA swimmers gear up for state meet

Published 8:39 pm Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy and first-year swim coach Lauren Keating will have nine swimmers competing in the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association’s state meet this weekend.

Swimming season is coming to close, but NSA has one last push to make. The Saints are coming out of a Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools meet in which they competed well.

Nic Psimas qualified for states in the 200IM, and 100 breaststroke, and Ian Lotz qualified in the bonus 50-meter freestyle for the boys’ team.

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Madi Wilson qualified for states in the 100-meter freestyle. Anna Grace Towler and Berkley Puzey qualified for the bonus 50-meter freestyle for the girls’ team, as well.

Keating called it icing on the cake that Towler, Puzey and Lotz qualified for the 50-meter freestyle, because they had previously qualified only on relay teams.

Keating is satisfied with how the season has progressed in her first year with the team. She called it an enjoyable experience.

“The first year of a job is a daily adventure,” Keating said. “There is nothing mundane about it, because you are constantly learning more about your athletes — things like how to coach them individually but all at the same time. I am excited to see what the next season will hold for these athletes. I expect great things of each one of them.”

The boys’ 400 freestyle relay team will be competing in the VISAA state meet this weekend. The relay team consists of Psimas, Lotz, Cameron Bruce and Reid Stambaugh.

Psimas has enjoyed a fantastic season in which he qualified for states in every individual event he participated in. Unfortunately, at states, athletes can participate in only two events. He will swim in the 200 and 100-meter freestyle.

For the girls’ team, Wilson, Tori Psimas, Madailen Reynolds and Puzey make up the 200 freestyle relay team that will compete this weekend. Wilson, Psimas, Puzey and Towler will compete in the 400 freestyle relay team.

Wilson has qualified for all the freestyle events, but she has chosen to swim in the 200 and 500 freestyle. Tori Psimas will be swimming in the 200 and 50-meter freestyle. Towler and Puzey will compete in bonus 50-meter freestyle.

“My team has progressed more than I have expected,” Keating said. “My 400 freestyle girls’ relay has dropped over 15 seconds since the first meet, where they qualified for states with a slower time. At our Division II meet a couple weekends ago, my boys’ 400 freestyle relay dropped five seconds out of sheer will to make the cut for states. My girls’ team finished in sixth place, which was higher than I had anticipated. I had boys and girls qualify for the state meet in events I was hoping they would just have personal records in.”

NSA will compete in the VISAA state meet on Feb. 17-18 at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center in Christiansburg.