Sister Swimmers Compete At State

Michaela Rowell

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Junior Sydney Jones swims breaststroke at a home meet Sept. 10.

Freshman Abby Jones swims butterfly at a home meet Sept. 10.

Swimmers Abby and Sydney Jones pose together.

Mount Vernon swimmers: Audi Eichorn, Lillie Hawker, Abby Jones, Sydney Jones, Michaela Rowell, Isabel Hawker, Hedy Zmolek.

Junior Sydney Jones swims backstroke at a home meet Sept. 10.

The top swimmers from Mount Vernon, sisters Sydney and Abby Jones, are the “warriors” getting ready to face the biggest battle of their lives swimming for the Washington Warriors of Cedar Rapids. After pushing their bodies and minds to the limit, Sydney and Abby can finally see the wall at the end of the pool. 

Sydney, a junior, qualified in four events for state: two individual events, the 200 individual medley and the 100 back, and also two relays, the 200 medley and 200 free. This is Sydney’s third year qualifying for state as a high school student. 

Abby was able to qualify in three events this year as a first year freshman including one individual, the 200 individual medley,  and two relays, the 200 medley and 400 free. Even qualifying for one is difficult. “It takes a lot of work and determination to get yourself to state not only in an individual but a relay because we rely on three other people to make it work,” Abby said.

The girls not only show dedication to their teachers and peers but their coaches and teammates. “Having your team is the most important part of swimming because swimming is an individual sport and a team sport all in one,” said Sydney. “You must focus on yourself and your goals but also your goals for the team and how you want the season to turn out stems from your actions.” 

One of the challenges a swimmer faces is being well rounded in every stroke, and that’s hard to do. “You have to have the right body for that stroke and some people like me are challenged with  swimming strokes our body isn’t met for,” said Sydney. “Mine is breaststroke.” 

Whereas with Abby, her difficulty is backstroke. Many swimmers have to adapt to strokes that aren’t their favorite or the easiest to swim to get times and assist the team. Sydney and Abby both have their best strokes though — Abby’s is breaststroke and Sydney’s is backstroke. 

 Spending most of their lives in the water starting at ages 7 and 5, their journey to where they are today started in a little pool in Marion, Iowa. After years of swimming for different YMCA teams they decided to step it up a notch and go bigger expanding their horizon to I Fly while continuing to swim for the Sharks at the downtown YMCA. 

“Swimming has changed my life,” Sydney said. “It has made me a better person a more organized time managed person and has showed me how to work hard but still have fun,” she said. The girls will be competing at state today at 5 p.m. at the Marshalltown pool and tomorrow at noon.