After capturing the region championship, the Mill Creek High School girls’ swim team was looking forward to riding into the sunset with a big finish at the state meet. However with a plethora of teams and an exceptional talent pool made it that much harder for the Hawks to earn a state title and went on to finish in twelfth place.
”Part of the issue was the meet was very competitive. There were some schools added to the 6A region. Lambert, Johns Creek and Chattahoochee High School are all really outstanding high schools in swimming. It made our meet more competitive than it’s ever been,” said Head Coach Rick Creed.
The Hawks have a very young team and the pressures of competing at such a high level may have been a lot to handle.
“Our girls are really young; a lot of them are ninth and tenth grade. It was the first state meet for the freshman so they really didn’t know what to expect. They were probably a little nervous. They knew they had to swim well in prelims to make it back,” said Creed. Overall the kids swam well. It was just such a fast meet that it was difficult to make it back.”
You can’t mention Mill Creek swimming without saying Chris Powell’s name. He has anchored the boys’ team all year with a great supporting cast.
“Chris Powell swam extremely well. He won the only two races that he swam. He me the time standard to become an All-American,” said Creed. “The thing about the state meet is Lassiter had four really outstanding boys. I thought they would put their boys in the medley in the four-hundreds, but they swam in the 200 free relay and the 400 and that was the one we had really had a good shot at winning. We lost that one which could have set us up for the state championship.”
All post-meet speeches are not easy when you are on the losing side of things but Creed decided to take an optimistic approach instead of focusing on the negative.
“We were extremely proud of them for giving a great effort. The kids never gave up and they fought until the end. While it may not have gone the way they wanted to for some of them, we wanted them to look at it as a learning experience,” Creed said.
As far their future is concerned, you can rest assure the Hawks will remain one of the teams to beat with all of the talent they have returning.
“I often remind them that they only have four chances for state in high school. If they are lucky enough to go as a ninth grader, they have the potential to go all four years. Sometimes you learn more from the failures than you do your successes,” said Creed.