Swimmers fight for Western Mass competition

Alexis Gamache, News Editor

If you’re an athlete at any school you know that Western Mass is the one thing you want to fight for. Beating times, setting records, sure, those are all things you should be proud of. But making it to Western Mass and representing your team and school? That’s a feeling that only comes once a year.So, when not only the Ludlow Lions, but all swimmers in the Western Massachusetts area, heard they could not compete this year, they were heartbroken and felt like they were neglected in way.The MIAA, Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association, stated “Due to the impending snowstorm, all Boys’ and Girls’ Sectional Swimming  and Diving Championships, scheduled for this weekend, have been cancelled.”

One may think that all sporting events that are taking place have been cancelled.

That’s not exactly the case.

“It’s unfair because wrestling and gymnastics were postponed, but swimming was cancelled altogether,” says Ludlow swimmer, junior, Haley Johnson.

Western Mass is a meet before States in which all the  high schools in the area gather at Springfield College and race. It’s broken up into boys and girls meets and each team is allowed to enter one relay event. However,there are specific times you either have to beat or match in order to qualify .

So when Ludlow High School swimmer, junior Katie Jordan, heard the news, she did not take it well and knew she had to fight for what she wanted.

“When I heard Western Mass was cancelled my heart literally felt like it broke,” says Jordan, “I, personally worked hard all season to qualify for the 50 free and when I did qualify, I had never felt so proud of myself.”

Jordan also explained how everyone on her team had worked so hard to get those times to qualify. Being a junior, she gets an additional year to work hard to try to get to Western Mass. However, for the seniors this year, they will not be able to swim with their team, which was devastating news for most.

Even gaining the support of Olympic swimmers, they did not back down. All over social networks you can see how much pride these athletes take in their sport. Even Olympians such as Ryan Lochte and Elizabeth Biesel have joined the fight.

Olympian Missy Franklin connected with Jordan over Twitter and re-tweeted her tweet about bringing Western Mass back.

“It’s really inspirational to see everyone join this fight, both swimmers and non-swimmers” says Johnson.

My question is, if you worked hard all year for something that you wanted so badly, and that was suddenly taken away, how far would you go to get it back?