Our Retro Orange Panther of the Week takes us back to February 7. Freshman Katie Belle Sikes had a memorable year at Orange in more ways than one. She won two regional championships in swimming. At the Greensboro Aquatic Center, Belle won the regional titles in the 50 yard freestyle and the 100 yard freestyle. A week later at the 3A State Championships in Raleigh, Belle finished 2nd in the 50 yard freestyle. She came in 3rd in the 100 yard freestyle. Belle also finished 5th in the regional championships in the 200 yard medley relay with Riley White, Brooke Walker and Melissa Campbell. After the winter ended, Belle continued to practice with her club team at the Orange County Sportsplex. Like many other swimmers across the country, Belle spent the past two weeks watching the Summer Olympics in Tokyo closely, and dreaming of reaching that level someday. For now, Belle is preparing for her sophomore year at Orange and preparing for next November when the next swim season begins. This year, Belle will compete in a more traditional setting instead of the pandemic conditions of 2021, where she largely raced against the clock.

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