The Bristol boys swimming and diving co-op finished its season with one last record-setting performance.
“The swimmers went into the state meets with excitement and drive. It was a thrill to see all of their hard work pay off. They not only displayed the athleticism of great swimmers but also supported each other to reach their goals. I couldn’t be more proud of them,” diving coach Aly Phelan said.
Senior Mikel Palaj and Nathan Stellmach lead the team into the open scoring the most points for the squad, which finished 14 out of 50 teams. Palaj closed the year as a state champion in the 50 freestyle and also taking third place in the 100 butterfly. He concluded the season setting 6 new team records, 5 individual and 1 relays.
“It feels amazing, it seems surreal, I never could imagine swimming like that. I couldn’t do it without the support of my coaches, teammates, other swimmers on deck, other coaches and even spectators” Palaj said.
The 200 medley relay team of Aidan Collins, Nathan Stellmach, Mikel Palaj and Davis Kroll, placed 12th, just missing their best time, by seconds. Kroll, Palaj, Stellmach and Noah Taylor finished 18th in the 400 freestyle relay, but set a new team record of 3:20.36.
Both Taylor and Kroll predicted and accomplished their goal of best splits for this relay. Taylor swam his leg in 52.47 seconds Kroll split 50.11 seconds. This is the 3rd time this quad has broken the team record this year
"I was feeling fast during warm ups and I really wanted a 52 split," Taylor said.
"I swallowed a wave of water, but it was worth it," Kroll said.
Stellmach completed his high school career with a fifth-place finish in the 100 breaststroke, 21st in the 200 individual medley and two team records. He holds the program record for the 100 breast (58.69 seconds), which stood for 14 years and the 400 freestyle relay. The 100 breast stroke record was the oldest record broken this season.
“This season was a great success. Everyone worked their hardest and our results showed. More than that, everyone swam for one another and left it all in the pool. You can’t ask for better athletes and people.” Stellmach said.
“Swimming the 4th leg of the relay right after the amazing record breaking breast stroke is a hard ask from any athlete. However, Nathan, he never hesitates or misses a beat, he finishes hard and fast every time!” head coach Adrienne Bentley said.