Independence — With a swim season plagued by recurring shoulder issues and multiple illnesses, junior Grace Holstad still made it to state in three events.
On Feb. 15 and 16, Holstad competed in the 5A state swim meet and clinched eighth place in the 100-yards butterfly, at 1:03.68, eighth in the 50-yards freestyle, at 26.29 and 12th in the 200-yards medley relay, at 2:07.13.
The day didn’t go as she had hoped.
“I knew that I was seeded seventh for my fly, so I was expecting to get that,” Holstad said. “Obviously I wanted to improve, so I was going as hard as I could.”
When she saw that she placed eighth, she said, “at first I was upset, because my time got messed up, and they fixed it. Before they fixed it, I was really upset. And of course I was frustrated, because I wanted to get a personal record, and I didn’t.”
But even with the setbacks she had this season, she said she’s happy she still has next year to compete.
“It was definitely hard this year, and kind of frustrating,” she said. “But it was also very rewarding to get back in the pool and then make it to state in three events. That was really amazing, and I didn’t expect that at all. I’m really proud of how far me and my team made it this year.”
Throughout this season, Holstad set new school records for the 200-yard freestyle, at 2:11.81, and the 100 freestyle, at 59.10.
She also helped to set a new school record for the 200 medley relay, alongside the rest of her relay team: Lynze Bradley, Maddie Altenburg and Olivia Cooper.
“We went in (to state) with the mentality that we have, really, nothing to lose,” Holstad said. “It’s the end of the season; we might as well go all out. We’ve been working all season so hard.”
Being at state with her relay team was her favorite memory of the season, Holstad said.
“We’re all really close and it was a really good experience, road tripping up there, and eating together, spending the day together, it was just really fun,” she said.
Holstad said this year wouldn’t have been what it was without the guidance of her head coach Jesse Genualdi.
“I would love to thank my coach,” she said. “He has helped me so much. He’s always there, always knows what to say to me. So huge thanks to him. He’s spent so much time with us.”
Her family was also on that list of people to thank.
“My grandparents, all of my family, and my friends, for being supportive.”
Swim season may be over, but Holstad is still plenty busy. She’s the spirit coordinator for the Associated Student Body Executive Council for CHS, and maintains a steady 3.71 GPA in her classes.
She is also looking toward next swim season for her last round at high school competition, and, no surprise, already has a list of goals ready: “beat all my records, get new personal records, and I want to try and place third or fourth in state. I mean, first would be great, but, realistically, third or fourth. And stay healthy too.”