SHREVEPORT — With nine total competitors, Southside seemed like a long shot to make an impact during the Division I portion of the LHSAA State Swimming Meet.
But the Sharks recorded two fifth-place finishes in the team standings during the meet held Saturday at the YMCA of Northwest Louisiana.
“We knew coming in we had a lot of competition in certain events, and it is great to see them perform,” Southside coach Destin Gilbert said. “I am most pleased with their excitement about their overall performances, even though some of them did not do their best times.
“They still came out and finished races smiling. We’re trying to go out and compete with these other teams and show that even though this is our second year in D-I, we have some talent on our team.”
The Acadiana area had one double winner in Lafayette High’s Anni Thompson, who won the 200-yard individual medley and the 500-yard freestyle.
Natalie Stump, who moved to Southside from Lake Charles’ Barbe High after Hurricane Laura, led the Southside girls. She won the 200 freestyle and was second to Thompson in the 500 freestyle.
“As crazy as this year has been with hurricanes and COVID, I am just happy we have this meet,” Stump said. “It was sad seeing Barbe swimming without me, but I am proud of what both teams did. This was the fourth year I’ve won the 200, and I am proud of that.”
Brice Bounds, who finished third in the 100 freestyle, led the Southside boys.
Lafayette High’s Thompson was pleased with her races and was also grateful to have a state meet.
“I felt really good about both my races, but I felt I could have gone faster in the 500 free,” Thompson said. “I think it went pretty well."