BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - For years, the Biloxi Elite Swim Team practiced under state championship banners that placed no higher than third. But as of last week? No longer.
"I mean, it was honestly incredible," Biloxi Elite swimmer and Long Beach resident Mishko Prikasky said. "I've never felt us be that much of a team."
The group of swimmers from around the Coast placed second in the 2017 Mississippi Long Course State Championships in Tupelo, the highest such finish in program history.
"I mean, it was just really awesome to see everybody come together," Biloxi Elite and Vancleave swimmer Cait Chandler said. "The coaching staff did an awesome job keeping us encouraged with one another, and honestly, everyone tried their best. It was really awesome."
After going through intense workouts beginning at 7 a.m. for two months straight, the hard work paid off for these area athletes.
"There were mornings where I heard my alarm go off and I did not want to get out of bed," Prikasky said. "I just forced myself to get out of that bed, get to the pool and swim. That hard work? That's why we did so well."
"Our attendance for this season has been tremendous," head coach Jaime Lee said. "It's been the best attendance as far as numbers go. We had 40 to 45 kids here every morning, and they were working hard from start to finish."
Now, with state championships coming to the Biloxi Natatorium in Februrary? These swimmers look to finally clinch that elusive first-place finish.
"It would be awesome to win first at our home pool," Chandler said. "That just keeps motivating us more to do our best."
"That's what we're gearing up for," Lee said. "Hopefully we can win our first state championship at our home pool, that would be great."
Several members of the program now prepare to head to Texas A&M next week for their Senior Zone Meet.