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Parks Reaches State Podium in Final Swim Meet

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Parks Reaches State Podium in Final Swim Meet

Senior Mason Parks stares down his lane as he climbs onto the block before his 200-yard freestyle at the Iowa State Championship Meet.

Senior Mason Parks stares down his lane as he climbs onto the block before his 200-yard freestyle at the Iowa State Championship Meet.

Photo Courtesy of CPose

Senior Mason Parks stares down his lane as he climbs onto the block before his 200-yard freestyle at the Iowa State Championship Meet.

Photo Courtesy of CPose

Photo Courtesy of CPose

Senior Mason Parks stares down his lane as he climbs onto the block before his 200-yard freestyle at the Iowa State Championship Meet.

Nck Stavas, Editor-in-Chief

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The end of a career is always a bittersweet moment for high school athletes, and for senior swimmer Mason Parks, that feeling was all the same. Parks wrapped up his tenure as a high school swimmer last saturday at the state championship meet in Iowa City.

Parks competed in four different events, including two individual races and two relays. Ranked in the top five in the 100-yard freestyle and 200-yard freestyle events, Parks was in the final heat in both races.

Parks had a game plan heading into the 200-free but mentioned that nerves played a part in muddling that plan. After going out with a solid pace through the first four lengths of the race, Parks began to fall behind the leading pack, and ended up eighth overall in the event.

“My finish was a little sloppy, I got in my head but I felt good for the majority of the race,” said Parks.

The 100-free was much of the same as Parks was even with the field until the

final turn, finishing ninth and missing the podium by less than one-tenth of a second.

Despite placing below his seed in both races, Parks was satisfied with the way he swam in his final high school competition.

“I’m very happy with my performance,” he said. “Ever since freshman year I’ve been wanting to stand on that podium, and even though I was at the bottom, I still accomplished a goal I’ve had for a long time.”
Parks does not plan on swimming in college even after receiving interest from a number of area colleges. He will attend Iowa State University to study engineering following graduation, meaning the state meet Saturday was his last time in the pool as a competitive swimmer, something that he has participated in since he was just six years old.

With all of those implications riding on those closing races, he wanted nothing more than to go out on a medal.

“It means everything,” said Parks. “I’ve seen teammates I’ve really looked up to standing on the podium and medaling at state, and now I finally accomplished that, and it really means a lot.”

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