TUPELO – Lucas Smith was proud of his Tupelo High swimmers after Thursday’s dual meet win against Starkville, but he was far from satisfied.
“The times are OK, but nowhere near championship material. You’ve got to get faster,” Smith told his squad following the competition at City Park pool. “If you don’t practice hard, you will not win. I cannot stress that enough.”
The North state meet is scheduled for Oct. 16 in Jackson. The state championships follow Oct. 23 in Biloxi.
Tupelo’s boys and girls teams are defending state champions. The Lady Wave defeated Starkville 44-20 while the Golden Wave boys won 56-16. In a dual meet, only the top three finishers in each event are scored.
“This makes it a lot more competitive,” said Tupelo swimmer John Servati, who won two events: 50-yard freestyle in 22.41 seconds and the 100 backstroke in 54.89. “The team with the fastest swimmers wins.”
Servati enjoyed the dual meet and the excitement surrounding the team-against-team format. Most high school meets involved multiple teams with deep scoring.
“I think our team comes together more,” he said. “I looked over at our seats during the meet and nobody was sitting down. Everyone was standing up and cheering.”
Smith is a huge fan of dual meets, too. “The intended purpose is to race, race against somebody you don’t practice against every day,” he said.
The goal is to be in top form when the postseason rolls around.
“We’re working on distance now … aerobic stuff for our endurance,” Servati said. “Two or three weeks before state we’ll start working on speed, getting an edge back.”
Contact Gene Phelps at 678-1593 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal