Vinton-Shellsburg-Union swimmer Arabella Shepard finished 9th in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 58.59 seconds, and did even better in the 100-yard backstroke, earning the 4th place medal with a time of 57.23.

In the 100 backstroke event, the winner was senior Sophie Sorenson, who broke the record she had set as a sophomore, with a time of 54.60 seconds. The second-placed finisher came in almost two seconds behind Sorenson.

“It was a great day for Arabella & VSU,” says Coach Ashley Hesson.

And even though there was only one VSU swimmer in the State Meet, the team finished tied for 18th in team scoring because Arabella had earned 24 points for VSU. VSU was among the smallest schools of the 39 represented at State.

The team will celebrate its successes during a wrap-up banquet Tuesday at Pizza Ranch.

“This swim season was so much more than I ever imagined it could be,” says Coach Ashley Hesson. “I loved getting to know the girls and watch them grow together as a team – seeing their confidence grow and their hard work pay off. These 8 girls have accomplished so much.”

Among the achievements: Winning invitationals, setting records, improving personal bests.

“I’m so thankful to have been a part of such an amazing season,” Hesson says. “State was a great experience too. I’m so glad the whole team wanted to come support Arabella, and it meant a lot to her too. VSU placed 18th out of 39 teams, and did so with only 1 swimmer. That’s ‘small but strong’ at it’s finest! She set her personal best time in her 100 backstroke at State, good for 4th place. I’m so proud of all of these girls.”

See complete state results here: 2017 ighsau state meet results