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CEDAR RAPIDS — Goodbyes are always bittersweet.
Saying farewell to swimming was not something Washington High School co-op seniors Lauren Havertape and Hannah Williams expected to be so hard.
On senior night, it was obvious Havertape and Williams were comfortable with their teammates and the atmosphere.
That wasn’t always the case. Going into their freshman season at Washington, the two were intimidated by the other swimmers.
“It is hard to go into another school and swim with people you do not know very well,” Havertape said. “Especially when most of them have known each other for a long time.”
Their attitudes quickly changed as they spent more and more time with the other swimmers and it became obvious the Xavier swimmers were dedicated to the sport. Their level of dedication came from juggling two practices a day at Washington, while maintaining involvement at Xavier.
“I get the best of both worlds.” Williams said. “I have met some of my best friends through the Wash co-op.”
Making friends was not the only problem they faced during their seasons on co-op.
“It is also hard to manage my time with Washington activities and Xavier activities,” Williams said.
Even through all of the obstacles, the girls had a blast and learned major life lessons.
“It has given me the chance to meet a lot of new people and has opened more opportunities for me,” Havertape said.
They will miss some less serious components to the sport, too.
“I am also going to miss the physical aspect of it,” Williams said. “Swimming gets you in amazing shape and I am going to miss being able to eat anything without feeling guilty.”
Havertape, Williams and the rest of the co-op will be back in action Saturday in the regional meet at the Linn-Mar Aquatic Center. The state meet is Nov. 4 in Marshalltown.