Columbia high school swim teams tune up for state championships

Saturday, February 15, 2014 | 7:23 p.m. CST; updated 8:50 p.m. CST, Saturday, February 15, 2014

COLUMBIA — Two teammates from Hickman discussed their sleepover plans for later in the evening. Another group of girls from Rock Bridge argued about whether to eat at Wendy's after the meet.

The seniors shared laughs and a few tears as the coaching staff presented them with a bouquet of  flowers as a part of their final home meet.

The swimming seemed to be the least important part of the swim meet.

The Hickman, Battle, Rock Bridge and Hannibal girls swim teams competed at the MU Student Recreation Complex in the final meet before the state championships next weekend. The meet was not scored, meaning the competition was essentially an exhibition, a final chance to qualify for state.

Rock Bridge sophomore Lexi Perry was the only swimmer to add a new state qualifying time, picking up a cut in the 200 freestyle.

"We had a couple girls barely miss the 100 fly, and Hickman missed the 200 free relay by 0.11 seconds," head coach Laura Wacker said. "They worked so hard for it too."

"You just wish everyone who worked hard was able to make it," assistant coach Peter Willet said.

The MSHSAA state championships will be held in St. Peters, with prelims Friday night and finals Saturday afternoon.

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