Wildcat Athletes Prepare for States


Freshman Keagan Black and sophomore Spencer Pfaff prepare for a sprint set. Photo taken by Maxwell Pearson.

Maxwell Pearson, Editor-in-Chief

As the winter sports season comes to a close, state competitions are underway. For athletes, this is the climax of the season and the pinnacle of all they have worked for throughout the season. This year, RCHS is sending nine swimmers, two runners, and four wrestlers to their designated VHSL state competition.

The Wildcat swimmers head to Richmond on Feb. 17 for multiple individual and relay races. Seniors Maxwell Pearson and Ben Barney, junior Will Gibbs, sophomore Spencer Pfaff, and freshman Keagan Black are competing in the 4×200 medley and 4×200 freestyle relay with Pfaff, Black, and Gibbs competing in individual races. 

For the girls’ team, seniors Abby Hickman, Ali Pfaff, and Sofia Vargas along with Greta Guse are competing in the 4×200 medley relay with Pfaff and Vargas competing individually. For the past two weeks, these swimmers have been tapering their practices, meaning they increase in distance and then gradually decrease the distance they swim in practice to get adequate rest to perform their best in competition. Stroke, dive, and turn drills have been emphasized during practice to shave off time in the long run. 

“I have been working with the coaches to critique my technique and fine-tune things to ensure I’m at my peak performance during states,” said Black.

RCHS will also have four wrestlers traveling to the Salem Civic Center in Salem, VA to compete in the Class 3 State Competition: junior Ryan Maxwell in the 120 weight class, sophomore Aiden Williams in the 144 weight class, senior Zeke Mohr in the 150 weight class, and senior Brice Hall in the 175 weight class.

These wrestlers have adapted their practices to prepare for their state matches. They have spent more time in the weight room and have traveled to other schools to scrimmage against other wrestlers.

After a successful Indoor Track Season, junior Deena Ludke and senior Evan Roney will be continuing their season through February to compete in the state track meet on Feb. 28. Roney will be running the 1000m and Ludke will be running the 1600m, and 3200m. During practice, these runners have been adding speed workouts on top of their endurance workouts to be more strategic and aggressive during races. 

“The most important thing is making sure to run every day and keep up with mileage and our strength training,” said Ludke. 

These athletes have worked all season for their state competition, so to celebrate, the athletic department hosted a walk-through during 7th period on Thursday, Feb. 16. The athletes competing at states walked through the halls with the marching band so the students could cheer on these athletes as they headed to states.