Madison Central swim teams win state
MADISON — Both the boys and girls swim teams at Madison Central dominated the pool and took home the state title during the state championship swim meet recently in Tupelo.
Bridget Carmody, head swim coach at Madison Central, said this victory for the boys was their second consecutive state championship, and for the girls, it was their eighth-consecutive championship win.
“There were so many emotions from both teams,” Carmody said of the Oct. 22 wins. “We knew around halfway through the meet that the girls were going to win, and it was close for the boys with a difference of 10 points. When the boys did their last relay, we knew they were going to win. It was fun to watch because all of them gave everything they had.”
Carmody said the boys and girls trained constantly leading up to the meet, including early morning exercises and evening practices at the Madison Health Plex.
“We had several middle schoolers who’ve qualified for state,” Carmody said. “Even though the season is over, these kids keep going to their club swims and continue to train. They all have put in a lot of hard work.”
Kimberly McCaffrey, a senior member of the girl’s swim team since her freshman year, said winning the state championship was a great feeling, but also was bittersweet.
“It was sad knowing it was my last meet with the team. High school has been so much fun,” McCaffrey said. “I do plan to keep swimming at the University of Tampa, and I’m (planning on) majoring in nursing.”
McCaffrey described her training as exhausting and filled with many early mornings and late nights with constant training from August to October.
“It’s always such a long road training for these meets,” she said. “I always get so nervous right before races. None of us want to disappoint the team. It is a lot of work and a lot of hours, but it always pays off in the end. I have to get up around 4:55 in the morning to do dryland exercises, drive to school, and do practices at the Health Plex.”
McCaffrey said her favorite part of being on the swim team is the team aspect, and she will miss Madison Central.
“I’ve made so many great friends and a lot of memories,” she said. “Taking in everything this year has felt different knowing I won’t be coming back to Mrs. Carmody’s room, and that championship was my last meet for this school.”
Carter Dickey, a senior member of the boy’s swim team has been on the team since the seventh grade. Dickey said winning the state title was great and he felt the team went out with a bang.
“Growing with the team since seventh grade has been my favorite aspect of swimming for sure,” Dickey said. “Back when I started, we weren’t anywhere near where we are now, and it’s great knowing all the hard work we’ve put in has paid off. We finally got that championship win this year.”
Dickey said the most challenging part of swimming is staying in the right mindset before the crucial meets.
“It is so nerve-wracking going in and not knowing what to expect from other people,” he said. “You have to get out of your head and focus on you and your race. I have to keep reminding myself I have a goal, and I need to keep working for it.”
Dickey said he plans to continue swimming at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore and wants to major in business.
“My favorite part of this season is the group of guys on the team,” Dickey said. “It has been one of the best atmospheres we’ve ever had and one of the best environments we’ve had out of all the seasons.”