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Berit Ramstad Skoyles: Everyone relishes in team’s success

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It seems like just yesterday that I was walking through the doors to the high school pool, not knowing what I was getting myself in to.

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I did not know that I was joining one of the best teams I have ever been a part of.

This past weekend our Section Eight girls swim meet took place at the Bemidji High School. It was a two day event — the preliminary races are on Friday and the final races on Saturday.

After leaving the high school at 9 a.m., we made our way to Bemidji. Upon arriving, we went to eat at Perkins. This is where I made a shocking discovery: Perkins serves breakfast all day, every day.

I started crying because I was so happy. I had no clue about their 24 hour breakfast service. I already have plans to eat pancakes at 3:30 a.m. with my friends. Words do not describe how excited I am.

When we arrived at the actual meet, all we could think about was advancing to the finals.

If one were to swim well on Friday and place in the top 16, she would advance to Saturday’s meet and have a chance to qualify for State. Unfortunately, only the top 8 have the chance to qualify for State, while places 9-16 compete in a consolation heat.

As the meet progressed, all of our swimmers placed fairly high. A Detroit Lakes swimmer earned a berth in each event on Saturday. My event was the 100 breaststroke and, unfortunately I did not qualify for the finals. I was disappointed, but since it was my first year as a swimmer and I didn’t even expect to qualify for sections in the first place, I can accept my results.

After the meet on Friday, the swimmers who did not qualify for Saturday were sent to save tables at Applebee’s so the team could eat early and get to bed. We arrived at the restaurant and were seated at three booths. My friend Anna and I chose to sit in the huge booth in the back that seated about 10.

While the other swimmers arrived and seated themselves, six more swimmers filed in to our booth. When our friend, Peach, attempted to scoot around the booth, she managed to knock into the table, spilling the beverages all over me.

Thankfully, the table did not tip all the way over. It tipped just enough for one beverage and a half to spill all over my pants. We eventually managed to clean it up enough to sit normally.

When we finished our meals, we headed back to the hotel to prepare for the next day. After a quick team meeting, we were off to bed.

Saturday was filled with more excitement than Friday. We all cheered for our swimmers in each event and smiled and cheered when they received their medals. The most exciting parts of the day were when Grace Livermore qualified for State with a second place finish in the 200 IM, and Syd Gulon qualified with a second place finish in the 500 freestyle.

The entire team cried tears of joy as our teammates stood on the podium with their medals. They were bombarded by hugs as they made their way back to the team area.

As my first season as a swimmer came to an end, I couldn’t help but thinking of the possibilities for next year. Who knows? Maybe I’ll be a qualifier for day two. If not, it doesn’t matter. I’ll be perfectly happy spending the days practicing with my new team and enjoying the success of each and every one of us.

Berit Ramstad Skoyles is a junior at Detroit Lakes High School.

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