Olympic Trial-bound swimmers lead FC to first state title


VIRGINIA BEACH (WAVY) – Last week, the First Colonial High School girls swim team made the biggest splash in school history, bringing home the program’s first ever state championship.

“The entire year, that was our main goal, was to win state,” said junior Samantha Tadder, who took home the individual title in the 500-yard freestyle.

The Patriots were left sunk and heartbroken in last year’s final. This year, they left no doubt, surging to the championship by 25 points over second place Briar Woods from Northern Virginia.

“It’s kind of nice especially because nobody really gives us the credit we deserve,” said senior Elle Caldow, who won the individual championship in the 200-yard free style.

With the title, First Colonial became the first team from Virginia Beach to win a state championship since 2000. “It meant s lot to the school. Swimming’s never been on the map down here,” said Patriots head coach Cassandra Wilburn.

Caldow, who will swim at the University of Tennessee next year, along with Tadder are far from done chasing trophies. Both have qualified for the Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska in June.

“That was my dream every since I was little,” said Tadder. “I heard about it my entire life, and that was my goal, to one day be able to do that.”

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