Western Seniors Leaving as Four-Time State Champions

By: Nate Sulham Email
By: Nate Sulham Email

Most high school athletes go their entire career not knowing what it's like to win a state championship.

The senior class of the Western Albemarle girls swim doesn't know what it's like to "lose" a state championship.

The Warriors won last week's 3A state title, giving the team a rare four-peat as champions.

"I wouldn't have come in my freshman year thinking 'Oh I'm going to win all four years high school swimming with my team,'" senior Lexi Campbell said.

"Just realizing the four years I've been there we've won state championships, it's just so crazy and so amazing," fellow senior Maddie Tegen added.

Western won its fourth in a row by surviving a long championship-day schedule that started around 8 a.m. and didn’t finish until nearly midnight.

"We probably left the pool at 11:30 at night," senior Kristen Richey explained. "But time flies when you're having fun. It was a good meet."

Those long hours could have taken its toll on the team and threatened the streak. But head coach Dan Bledsoe says his team was determined to bring another title back to Crozet.

"For that championship meet, those kids rarely ever sat down. If we had a kid in the pool they were up cheering them on, they were pumping up their teammates the entire time. That's just the energy this team has."

The Western seniors say their motivation all along hasn't been to win a state championship. They just didn't want to be the class that ended the streak.

"We strive for excellence and we never want to be the people who aren't winning and aren't the champions," Richey said.

"We don't want to end the dynasty," Campbell added. "We have this reputation to uphold and we're going to uphold it for as long as we can."

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