Junior Becca Waterson, far left, and seven other DART (Davis Area Racing Team) members celebrate their journey to the West Junior Nationals in front of a "Greetings from Austin" sign. (Photo used by permission of Waterson)

Junior places at West Junior National Swimming Championships

Most students probably spent the week of Dec. 3-9 running from class to class and trying not to start worrying about finals. But not junior Rebecca Waterson.

Instead, Waterson and eight other swimmers on her DART swimming team competed in the Winter Junior Championships West in Austin, Texas.

But this wasn’t Waterson’s first time at this meet. She said she’s been going since freshman year, as all she needed to do to qualify is get a certain time in each race.

Waterson participated in four individual races, as well as the 400-yard freestyle relay, where her time was counted individually for 100 yards.

“If you go first in a relay, you get to count the time it took you to complete the first leg as if you were doing an individual race,” Waterson said. “I also did the 100-yard butterfly, the 100-yard backstroke, the 200-yard butterfly and the 200-yard backstroke.”

Waterson said she was pretty pleased with her results.

“I dropped time in all of my races except the 200-yard butterfly, but I was still pretty close to that time too, ” Waterson said.

Waterson completed the 100 butterfly in 54.25 seconds, the 100 backstroke in 56.04 seconds, the 200 butterfly in 2 minutes, 5.95 seconds, the 200 backstroke in 2 minutes, 3.87 seconds and the 100 freestyle in 51.82 seconds.

But Waterson didn’t just improve her times.

“In my best race, the 100 butterfly, I ended up making it to finals,” Waterson said.

But, according to Waterson, nerves got to her as she stepped up for her final race.

“That was my first-ever final at a nationals meet, so I was really nervous and a little too excited,” Waterson said. “My coach even said I looked really nervous before the race.”

Waterson placed 16th out of 24 swimmers in the final, but she said she’s already thinking about future meets.

“I made it to B finals (the second-highest tier) this year, so my goal is to make it to the A final for the 100 butterfly,” Waterson said. “I’d also like to make any finals in my other races next year.”

By Mehdi Lacombe

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