Lost sometimes behind masks are facial expressions. Maybe there's a smile. Maybe there's an excited look.
Masks or no masks Oct. 23 at the Section 2AA Girls Swimming and Diving meet, it was clear how Chaska co-head coaches Kendra Maus and Samantha Hoffman felt.
It was clear how swimmers were reacting to teammates competing in the pool at Minnetonka Middle School East.
It was the final meet of the season; a night to post season-bests, to realize a season's worth of work.
It was a night, Chaska, competing against teams from Minnetonka, Eden Prairie and Chanhassen, gave their all, in and out of the pool.
The Hawks posted season-best times in 32 of 34 races.
There was Eliza Prescher throwing down a 13-second drop in the 500-yard freestyle for 10th place (5:27.62) and then following up with a time unseen in at least two years in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:12.65).
The look from Prescher as she walked toward the two excited coaches said it all.
There was Serena Urevig coming so close to breaking a minute in the 100-yard backstroke, a time of 1:00.31. Seeded 12th, racing in the first heat, the Chaska junior ended up placing eighth overall among the two section pods.
Urevig also had a drop of nearly seven seconds in the 200 individual medley, a time of 2:15.44 for 13th place.
It was that 200 IM race that had possibly the biggest cut in time of all swimmers in a non-500 event. Gretta Hansen, seeded 17th in 2:24.17, hit the wall in 2:14.76 for 10th place.
Hansen shaved more than a second in the 100-yard butterfly, her and senior teammate Ella Marti placing 11th and 12th in times of 1:02.45 and 1:03.06.
It was the relays that had the swimmers on the pool deck raising their arms, jumping up and down.
Chaska posted season-best times in the medley relay (1:54.70) and 400 freestyle relay (3:47.61). The 200 freestyle relay of Hansen, Marti, Kiana Tardia, and senior Payton Fogarty were third in the north pod, besting Chanhassen in a time of 1:43.52.
Tardia was 15th in the 200 freestyle (2:01.74) and 16th in the breaststroke (1:12.74). Other big drops came Marti in the 200 IM (2:17.86) and senior Emily Hed in her final race, the 100-yard freestyle, her first time under a minute in 59.79 seconds.
Chaska's Madison Edwards was ninth overall, the highest finisher for her grade, with an 11-dive score of 308.50.
Chaska totaled 143 points in the meet for sixth place, ahead of Bloomington Jefferson and New Prague.