EBSC dominates at Nationals


Ellen Linnihan

Michael Linnihan (’20) prepares to begin his next race.

Arms slice through the water. Two swimmers race in the preliminary rounds of the 50 freestyle. They are head to head. This is their third race against each other. They tied in both of the previous races. On the sidelines, their teammates watch, determined not to miss the crucial moment of victory or loss. And then– cheers erupt as one swimmer reaches the end, claiming a slim victory.

From March 19 to 23, four BC students represented the Elmbrook Swim Club at the National Club Swimming Association Junior National Swimming Championship in Orlando, Florida: freshman Lizzi Geske, juniors Anna Kult and Michael Linnihan, and senior Maggie Teng. To qualify for the meet, the four had to meet certain cut-off times in individual events. This also qualified them for bonus races at the actual meet.

Teng described the meet as “hectic” due to the sheer amount of participants. “About a thousand of the fastest swimmers in the nation,” said Teng. Teng participated in four different events: the 50 yard breaststroke, 100 yard breaststroke, 200 yard breaststroke, and 50 yard butterfly. She beat her personal record in the 50 yard butterfly and came close to beating her personal record for breaststroke. The meet was successful for the other Lancers as well. Getske performed well in her relays and the 50 yard and 100 yard backstroke. Likewise, Kult set personal records in the 50, 100, and 200 yard breaststroke, as well as the 50 yard freestyle and 200 yard individual medley. She was also a part of several well-placed relays. Linnihan was a part of seven different individual events; he set personal records in the 200 yard butterfly and the 50 yard freestyle, and came close in the 100 and 200 yard freestyle, 50 and 100 yard butterfly, and 50 yard backstroke.

Cliche as it may be, the team is family to me.

— Maggie Feng ('19)

Teng named Linnihan’s performance in the 50 yard freestyle as a highlight of the meet. In the preliminary round of the event, Linnihan tied with another swimmer. To settle the tie, a swim-off was held, only to result in yet another tie. “When the people on deck saw that the two racers tied for a second time, the entire pool started shouting in shock,” recalled Teng, “And when [Linnihan] said he wanted to race again right away, the cheering was immediate and booming.” As with the previous two, the third race was a close call, Linnihan inching his way to victory. Later in the meet, his opponent congratulated him on his race after the finals. Teng deemed the act “a great show of sportsmanship.”

As the last meet of the season, the end of NCSA Nationals marked the closing of Teng’s time in EBSC. As Teng looked back on her 12 years in EBSC, she reflected on the growth she had experienced and the lessons she had learned. “I’m very thankful to have had the chance to be part of such a wonderful group. I’ve had a lot of mental and emotional struggles over the past few years on the team, and it’s allowed me to grow and mature as a person. I’m grateful to everyone who’s been my teammate or coach because they’ve taught me so many life lessons that can only be learned through experience, one being that not everyone will like you, some might even hate you, and you have to accept that fact because the alternative is to start despising yourself for the sake of trying to make them like you.”