Utah Tech signee Cross joins 15 other Bearden swimmers at this weekend’s state meet


Meghan Oros

Senior Mary Sims Cross will lead a group of 16 Bearden swimmers at this weekend’s state meet.

The Bearden swim team will have 16 swimmers competing in the TSSAA state swim meet this weekend at the UT aquatic center.

The 16 swimmers being sent this year is an increase from the previous mark of 13 swimmers sent last season.

“This season, we have really focused on the little details in our races, and our coaches and teammates have been very helpful in keeping all our heads in the right place throughout the season,” junior Henry Mead said.

Senior captain Mary Sims Cross, who signed to swim at Utah Tech last week, had an impressive showing at the KISL city meet last weekend, finishing first in the 200m freestyle and second in the 100m fly.

Cross’s relay team, which consists of junior Alina Hafner, sophomore Claire Henry, and freshman Cama-Jane Richards, finished first in the 4x100m freestyle relay at the meet as well.

Cross, who is the captain of the team and the only senior on her relay teams, has benefited from having so much experience in the swim world and being able to use that to become a better leader on the Bearden team.

“I started my freshman year learning as much as I could from my peers, especially those on my club team,” Cross said. “As I began to take on more of a leadership role with my club team, I realized that I could lead by example with the Bearden swimmers.”

Cross coming into a leadership role has been incredibly beneficial for the team this year, especially with how young the team is this season. 

“She (Cross) has taught me a lot about being a leader and carrying a great mindset over the three years that I have swam with her,” Mead said. “She has been great at displaying leadership skills and has shown how hard of a work ethic she has, which has been beneficial for the team.” 

Cross has been able to accomplish many incredible things in her senior year.  Her relay team that finished first at the city meet two weeks barely beat out a relay team composed of swimmers from Farragut, marking the first time that she has beaten out Farragut in this event in her career at Bearden.

Cross knows what it will take for her relay team to be successful in bringing a state title back to Bearden.  

“Myself and three other girls will be swimming two different relays at state, and if everyone is not on their game, it will affect the whole team,” Cross said. “Swimming comes down to tenths of a second, meaning the difference between first and second. I’m so excited to be able to race one last time for Bearden.”