Tessa Jones and Haley Halsall of Marengo Middle School returned home with modest ribbons after participating in the 2019 Illinois State Championship.

“I have been on the swim team for five years. There are two girls and one boy on our swim team,” said Tessa Jones. “I really enjoy being on the team and 100 percent love my teammates. I hang out with them every day. Coach George Keenum and Head Coach Teresa Albert are great.

“I have to have good grades to be on the team. The swim season is over now that the state championships have been held. We brought back three medals. I earned a seventh and a ninth place medal and Haley Halsall got a ninth place. I want to swim as long as I can. My goal is to make the Olympics in 2028.

“My parents come to as many competitions as they can. There is always at least one of my parents at the matches. They are fully supportive of me. They were both at the state competition. Competitions are really hard and I don’t always win, but when I come home after a competition, there is always a sign. It usually says, ‘Good job, T-Bone!’ which is what my dad calls me.

“Coach George calls her ‘Motorboat’ because she has a good kick,” said Tessa’s mom, Laura. “I know how much work she puts into practice. The Olympics has been her goal since she was seven years old.”

“It’s exciting,” said Tessa’s dad, Ray Jones. “It’s a lot of fun


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