The buoyant Bobcats

The Bobcat swim team competes at states


Freshman Camille Spink swimming her record-breaking 100 freestyle. Photo courtesy of Charlotte Peyton.

Theo Drescher, Author

They say cats do not like water, but this group is an exception. On Saturday, February 22, Battlefield, along with other fellow Prince William teams like Patriot and Colgan, competed at the Virginia Class 6A State Competition at the Jim McKay Natatorium at George Mason University. The meet consisted of a diving competition on Friday, and on Saturday, a prelims-finals swim meet. The Bobcats had a total of 14 swimmers compete, with both teams ending up in fourth place overall. In addition, Battlefield’s Tatum Robinson scored 7 points, along with Elias Vanier who scored 3 points (dive scores converted to swim score).

The morning started off with strong placements on both the girls and boys sides in prelims to secure the swimmers’ spots in finals. At finals, Battlefield swimmers excelled, scoring a total of 147 points on the men’s side and 161 points on the women’s side. In the Individual events, many records were broken. For the girls, freshman Camille Spink broke two team records in the 100 and 200 yard freestyle, winning both with a time of 49.18 and 1:46.18, respectively. Both times are also new Virginia Class 6A State records. Spink states, “ I was so happy about how states went down because it was my first time experiencing it and for me to get those state titles and records is really great and I’m proud,” Also was the 400 freestyle relay with a new time of 3:30.91, consisting of Jamie Cornwell, Katherine Diatchenko, Sophia Heilen, and Spink as the anchor, which also broke the county record. Spink was also the anchor on the 200 Medley Relay along with Cornwell, Heilen, and Emma Hannam, which also broke the team record. 

On the boy’s side, Chino Vera broke the 100 freestyle record with a time of 46.95 and an eighth place finish. Vera was also a part of the 200 medley and 400 freestyle record- breaking relays along with Emmett Hannam, Eric Liao, and Henry Radzikowski. This meet was “personally emotional” for Vera because it was his last meet as a Bobcat.

The only reason why I joined swim was because of high school swim and now that it is concluded I look back at my progress through the years and realized how much fun it has been, and how fast I’ve gotten all because of my desire to be the best.

— Chino Vera

“Overall, state[s] was really competitive, which made me super nervous, but I knew my team was depending on me, which pushed me further to go fast,” explains Vera.

Other records include Eric Liao’s 100 Breaststroke, with a new team record of 56.60, placing third overall. Senior and team captain Henry Radzikowski did particularly well, with two second place finishes in the 200 and 500 freestyle, with times of 1:39.69 and 4:30.74. Radzikowski was very happy with how the season went for the Bobcats, stating, “The season felt very easy going, yet competitive. The spots for the relays were always up for debate and seeing how people could step up when needed was very critical in our success.” As a departing senior, Radzikowski wishes the best to the Bobcats next year and knows they will “crush it.”