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Girls swimming wins Burke Invitational

December 9, 2022


Cece Gerard

Junior Kate Stevens dives during a meet last year. Stevens won the 200 freestyle in a time of 1:57.41.

The Westside girls swimming and diving team won the Burke Invitational this past weekend on Saturday, Dec. 3rd. The girls team has won this Invite for the last two years. The Warriors remain undefeated through the early stages of the season. 

The team had just one individual champion with junior Kate Stevens in the 200 freestyle in a time of 1:57.41. The team won with their depth and an overall team performance. They had several second place finishes including Stevens in the 100 backstroke, junior Natalie Harris in the 200 and 500 freestyle, sophomore Piper Hagen in the 50 and 100 freestyle, sophomore Haleigh Pentico in the 100 breaststroke and Amelia Ward in diving. The Warriors also had three relay teams finish second, the 400 freestyle, 200 freestyle, and 200 medley. The girls didn’t stop there, they also finished with five third place finishes.  Harris was thrilled to capture the team title.

“It feels great to win the Invite, even better that it’s the second time in a row,” Harris said. “We wanted to show every other team there who we are and what our intentions are for the season and I think we accomplished that. It was a major success and a great start to the season.” 

Hagen finished as the runner-up in two events. The sophomore also swam a leg on two freestyle relays. The team title gives the swimmers a lot of momentum at this point of the season.

“It feels good to win the Invite,” Hagen said. “We had some tough competition. I’d say overall we are all pretty happy with how we swam.”

The Burke Invitational had lots of other great teams that Westside had to beat out. Defending state champion Omaha Marian, Elkhorn, Burke, Duchesne, Gretna, Omaha Central, Skutt and both Bellevue West and Bellevue East. The girls team is currently undefeated, realizing although they did great in the Burke Invitational there is a need and big room for improvement. 

“While we did well at the invite, there’s still a lot we need to work on, individually and as a team,” Harris said. “We will continue to work on key points of our swimming and practice harder than we have been so far. The team will continue growing in strength and skill. We will also build our bond as a team, set good mindsets for the season, and stay positive about our swimming. Working hard and having a good mindset should take us a long way.” 

The Warriors look to continue their undefeated season this Saturday, Dec. 10, in the Ralston Invitational at Ralston High School. 


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