2021 Swim’s State Success

From left to right: Caroline Cunningham, Kallie Nero, Coach Honerkamp, Sydney Pickett, and Elise Newman celebrate the swim teams’ success at state.

Riley McAteer

From left to right: Caroline Cunningham, Kallie Nero, Coach Honerkamp, Sydney Pickett, and Elise Newman celebrate the swim teams’ success at state.

Paige Hunt, Staff Writer

cAfter securing third place at the AAA Conference, four members of St. Dominic’s swim team (senior Kallie Nero, juniors Caroline Cunningham and Elise Newman, and sophomore Sydney Pickett) competed at a meet on the state level this past Saturday. Several months of rigorous training allowed the girls to finish off the season on a high note.

MSHSAA swim meets are unlike typical season competitions because there are three heats— each with numerous seed times. This not only triples the amount of competitors, it also cranks up the intensity as swimmers race to beat the evenly-matched opponents.

Luckily, these daunting challenges did nothing to deter our fierce swimmers. Nero swam came in 16th place in the 200 free. She also medaled by coming in 8th place in the 100 fly. After four successful years, Nero was proud of the conclusion to her St. Dominic swim career. She knows that much of her accomplishments would not have been possible without the encouragement of her mom.

“My biggest supporter this season has been my mom, Jean Nero. She has been my biggest supporter throughout my entire swimming career. Before I could drive, she would wake up with me at 4:30 every day to take me to practice. She had never missed a competition, and while I was competing at state she was in our living room watching the livestream on the TV cheering me on,” Nero said.

Nero was not the only one deserving of outstanding recognition. Pickett also represented St. Dominic in several events. Pickett swam both the 200 individual medley and the 500 free, winning 13th and 14th place, respectively.

Along with Cunningham and Newman, Nero and Pickett also contested against 41 other schools in the 200 free relay. The relay team fought against their adversaries, and their hard work ultimately earned 29th place in the meet overall.

Their success would not have been possible without dedication and the guidance of swim team coach, Carly Honerkamp. Coach Honerkamp began teaching at St. Dominic in August, and she was excited for the opportunity to coach the swim team this season. Coach Honerkamp prepared the girls for state by training them with drills that targeted dynamic strokes and teamwork.

“I know the girls were so nervous [for state], but I felt they had worked so hard all season and were ready to go. As I watched them in their actual races, that excitement turned into pride. I am so proud of them and all they’ve accomplished in this weird season. They have worked so hard which was evident in their placing. Their resilience this season has impressed me and I know that next year can be great, too. So many girls swam new events this year and really pushed themselves, and I am excited to see this again next year!” Coach Honerkamp said.

Coach Honerkamp certainly speaks for all of the St. Dominic community. We are beyond proud of the swim team’s accomplishments this year, and we look forward to following their success again next season!