by Mike Stirling
Meet number one for the Tri-Valley swim squad could not have been more successful or encouraging as the 33 swimmers of the 2018-19 team left the blocks in pursuit of yet another championship for the Dresden based athletes. The event was the Skyler Gilkerson Memorial Meet named to honor a young swimmer killed in an automobile accident during this past year.
When the splashing had subsided, the Dawgs had out-pointed their county competition of John Glenn, Zanesville, West Muskingum, Bishop Rosecrans, Philo and Maysville as well as their neighbor to the east, Cambridge.
Both the boys and girls teams were impressive especially in view of the fact that this was the first competition for over half of the team. With some outstanding swims from many of the returning swimmers (15 returning lettermen), the Scotties racked up a total of 14 first places, 8 second places and 8 third places in the combined 22 events.
As in the past, relay teams excelled. Girls 200 Yard Medley Relay of Larissa Lynch, Katya Liber, Mariah Clark and Seryna Mann out-distanced the Zanesville team by nearly 16 seconds. On the boys side, the 200 Yard Medley Relay team of Mikal Blackstone, Will Kline, Bruno Ascariz (exchange student from Brazil) and Brady Jacobs-Bell out swam the second place squad from Zanesville by seven seconds.
Also turning in impressive swims for the girls was the third place team of Star Jacobs, Cami Frew, Clare Waggle and Emma Robinson (all returning from last season). The boys were also represented by new swimmers Cyrus Dittmar, Sean Lacy, Jacob Merry and Mason McDaniel who performed well in their first high school event.
Returning later in the meet, swimmers Liber and Clark were joined by Frew and Marissa Sees to capture first in the Girls 200 Yard Free Relay. Tri-Valley also entered two other relays consisting of Kayley Harper, Eve Davis, Allie Norman and Jacobs as well as Macey Felumlee, Rhiannon Shaw, Laine Welker and Caitlynn Wriston.
On the boys side, the Dawgs also entered three relay teams in the 200 Free Relay. Capturing first place was the senior team of Keegan Bumpus, Ben Jacoby, Chad Bell and Eric Allen. Also representing the Scotties were the teams of Kline, McDaniel, Blaine Cox and Nathan Sauerbrey and the team of Dittmar, Lacy, Carter Cornett and Tracy Beale.
As is usually the case, the 400Yard Free Relay was exciting for both the boys and girls. On the girls side, the team of Waggle, Mann, Sees and Lynch finished well ahead of their competition while teammates Robinson, Davis, Norman and Harper as well as the team of Wriston, Welker, Shaw and Felumlee swam well but just out of the points.
Scottie boys, seeking a school record in the 400 Yard Free Relay, came up a little short while capturing a first in this relay. Chad Bell, Eric Allen, Ben Jacoby and Keegan Bumpus were followed by Jacobs-Bell, Sauerbrey, Ascariz and Blackstone who finished second and the team of Merry, Cox, Cornett and Beale behind them.
In the individual events for the girls, impressive performances were turned in by Larissa Lynch in the 100 Yard Backstroke as well as the 50 Yard Free where the Tri-Valley sophomore finished first in both events. Lynch was followed in the Backstroke by teammates Wriston, Davis, Shaw and Felumlee and in the 50 Yard Free by Waggle, Frew, Jacobs, Wriston, Norman, Davis, Welker, Felumlee and Shaw.
Another standout was sophomore Clare Waggle who captured first in the Girls 500 Free, (the longest race in the meet), to go with her second place finish in the 50 Free (the shortest event in the meet). Waggle was followed by teammate Mann who finished second in the 500 Free.
Another first place finisher for the Scotties was Junior Mariah Clark in the 200 Yard Free followed by Sees (second place) and Robinson for the Scotties. Mann and teammate Liber took 2nd and 3rd respectively in the Girls 200 Individual Medley.
Junior Marissa Sees finished third in the 100 Yard Freestyle followed by Robinson, Harper and Welker and Freshman Katya Liber took the third spot in the 100 Yard Breaststroke followed by Frew and Jacobs.
To cap off the scoring, the Scottie senior boys swam some impressive events with some help from their younger classmen. Chad Bell captured first in the 200 Yard Free followed by Seniors Jacobs-Bell, Blackstone and Cox. Coming back in the 100 Yard Breaststroke, Bell finished in first place ahead of teammates Lacy and Dittmar.
Senior Keegan Bumpus also captured a first in the 100 Yard Free touching ahead of teammates Ascariz, Jacobs-Bell, Kline, Dittmar and Cornett. Bumpus was the top finisher for Tri-Valley in the 200 Yard IM were he finished in third place followed by Will Kline.
Other first place for the Dawgs included senior Ben Jacoby (500 Yard Freestyle) followed by Sauerbrey and Mikal Blackstone who out-distanced the competition to win the 100 Yard Backstroke ahead of teammates Cox and Beale. In the 100 Yard Butterfly, seniors Eric Allen and Jacob Merry touched the pads to finish 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Tri-Valley entered nine swimmers in the 50 Yard Free which saw Ascariz, Allen and Jacoby finish 3rd, 4th and 5th followed by teammates McDaniel, Sauerbrey, Merry, Lacy Cornett and Beale.
All-in-all, Coach Christi Holmes was pleased with both the results as well as the effort, “It is a good start but we have more work to do,” she said. Their next meet will be in Athens and then back to the MRS on Wednesday, December 5. All are invited to come and support a super group of student athletes.