By BEN SPENCER
Audrey Dixon is only in her second season swimming for the Bridgman cooperative girls team, but she’s already preparing for her second trip to the state finals.
Dixon, a sophomore at Niles High School, swims in the 100 and 200 freestyle for Bridgman, and is also a member of the 200 medley relay, plus the 200 and 400 free relays.
Dixon is the only swimmer from the co-op to qualify for this year’s state finals.
COVID-19 restricted teams from having a normal conference meet this season, but Dixon was still able to qualify for the Nov. 20 state finals by swimming a 1:57.45 in the 200 freestyle and a 53.93 in the 100 freestyle in regular-season meets.
“I’m excited going to state,” said Dixon. “I feel like I have been doing well this season considering COVID and not being able to swim all summer. I will be training the next two weeks. I have a few girls on the team who have decided that they will be practicing with me, just so that I can have some competition in practice.
“I am really excited about these next two weeks. I’m going to train hard the next week and then start my taper. I also had a shoulder injury I had a shoulder injury, so I’m very excited about how I’m doing this season.”
Outside of swimming, Dixon participates in FFA, as well as Niles New Tech. In the offseason, Dixon swims for a club team at the St. Joseph-Benton Harbor YMCA. She plans to run track for Niles in the spring as well.
How long have you been swimming?
I have two older siblings who swam, and I’ve basically been swimming since I was really little. I started competitive swimming when I was about seven.
Do you have a favorite memory from this season?
It was probably the senior night. We have a few seniors graduating, and one of our state team members from last year is graduating and it was just kind of bittersweet, her going over the memories from this year. I overall really enjoy the co-op, though, because you get to broaden your spectrum of friends from different schools.
What is something that you like best about swimming?
It’s an individual and team sport. I really enjoy that, because you swim your individual races and you’re individual for most everything, but then you can come together for relays. Practices are just so team oriented. Even the slowest swimmer can motivate everybody. It’s really a team atmosphere to try and get everybody going and ready for practice and working hard.
What are some goals that you have for yourself over the next few seasons?
I’d like to continue on the track I am and hopefully make it to state the next two years again. I just want to continue to improve on my individual races, and get a relay to state hopefully next year, too. I’d like to go to college and swim. If I could swim in college, that is something I would love to do.
Audrey Dixon, a sophomore at Niles High School, qualified for the state finals on Nov. 20 in the 100 and 200 freestyle.