The Penn Girls Swimming and Diving team travel to Indianapolis this Friday, February 10th for the State Championship!

The championship will be held at IUPUI for Friday and Saturday meets. Penn head coach Jess Preston gives us an inside look at the team. This is his 9th year coaching both Penn’s boys and girls swim teams. “We are very excited to be competing this weekend,” He stated in an email interview.

Penn Junior, Makenna Bottorff says, “we’d love having this title because we’ve worked so very hard and we push each other daily. We’re not only swimming for our current team but for our coaches and the swimmers in the past that has made this all possible.” Makenna will be swimming at four events this weekend including the 100 meter fly, which she placed first in at the sectional championship last weekend.

The girls have worked hard year-round to get to where they are now. Preston stated, “The team has worked very hard all season and are prepared to be at their very best this weekend… I always want my girls to relax [and] have fun.”

The hard work the girls have put in is obvious. Swimming an estimated over 60,000 yards show that, but their coach is concerned about the team’s health. “We have had more issues with sickness this year than in years’ past… The girls try their best to stay healthy.”

A big competitor for Penn is Carmel High School. This year would be their 31st consecutive state championship, but Penn has a high chance of getting in the top 5. “Our ultimate goal [is] a Team State Runner-up finish,” Preston told PNN Reporters.

Makenna shares what it’s like having all of these girls as her teammates. “We try to motivate [each other] by trying to stay positive and just standing behind each other… It’s not easy sticking with this sport. But it makes it so much easier by having these girls going through the same thing,” says Makenna. She says that she has “high hopes for [the team]” this weekend.

Penn swimming is a major commitment. There are constant workouts and practices twice a day, along with summer practices. Preston shares his final thoughts, “There is a lot of sacrifice, but in the end it’s worth it. I’m very proud of each of them.”

By Kevin McNulty

Kevin McNulty teaches English and Mass Media Studies at Penn High School. He advises the Penn News Network and manages the PNN Studio and news room. For more information, navigate your browser to