by Mike Stirling
It was last November that Tri-Valley Swim Coach Christi Holmes and Assistant Susan Bowen welcomed about 30 young swimmers to their first practice of the 2018-19 swim season at the MRC in Zanesville. At no time did the coaches minimize the effort that would be required as they spoke of the season and their desire to prepare as well as possible for the SEOSL (South Eastern Ohio Swim League) championships coming up in February 2019 at Kenyon College.
That day arrived and the Scottie swimmers did not disappoint themselves, their coaches or their followers. All combined, the boys and girls squads amassed seven first place finishes, seven seconds, one third, two fourth and 38 new or improved times for the individual swimmers. As if that was not enough, a total of 31 Scottie swimmers (14 girls and 17 boys) scored points for their school while taking advantage of ‘tournament scoring‘ which awards points to event finishers in places 1-10.
When all the points were tallied, Tri-Valley girls stood in first place amongst the 15 competing schools. The TV boys also performed well, finishing third while the Scotties overall totals placed them in the second spot in the 15 school field.
Once again, the boys relay team stepped forward to eclipse their second Tri-Valley swim record in the last weeks. Seniors Eric Allen, Ben Jacoby, Chad Bell and Keegan Bumpus had their sights on the 200 Free Relay which had been established in 2009 by Scottie swimmers Ryan Hetrick, Carter Brown, Jacob Hindel and Kevin Bell (Chad’s older brother). The 10 year old record of 1:38.16 was bested with a new time of 1:37.79 which was .37 seconds of an improvement.
A second Scottie team of Mikal Blackstone, Mason McDaniel, Brady Jacobs-Bell and Cyrus Dittmar recorded a time of 1:44.71 in the same race while the girls team of Larissa Lynch, Marissa Sees, Katya Liber and Caroline Holmes captured 1st in their event followed by teammates Kayley Harper, Rhiannon Shaw, Laine Welker and Star Jacobs.
In other relay competition, the girls team of Holmes, Clare Waggle, Mariah Clark and Sees took 2nd in the girls 200 Medley Relay followed by Emma Robinson, Jacobs, Seryna Mann and Macey Felumlee. On the boys side, McDaniel, Dittmar, Nathan Sauerbrey and Blackstone finished 7th followed by Will Kline, Sean Lacy, Jacob Merry and Tracy Beale.
Tri-Valley girls sent swimmers Clark, Liber, Waggle and Lynch to the blocks to defend for the Scotties in the 400 Free Relay…and defend they did as the foursome captured 1st place by over 2 seconds followed by teammates Caitlynn Wriston, Allie Norman, Eve Davis and Seryna Mann. For the boys, Sauerbrey, Blaine Cox, Kline and Jacobs-Bell finished 8th.
Scottie girl swimmers had a great meet. Led by Larissa Lynch, Clare Waggle and Caroline Holmes, their presence was felt. Lynch finished 1st in the 200 Free followed by Shaw and Welker. Lynch came back to finish 2nd in the 100 Butterfly with Mariah Clark locking up 6th followed by Eve Davis and Rhiannon Shaw who both improved their times. Waggle swam an impressive 500 Free to win that event by over 4 seconds. She led the way for Seryna Mann, Emma Robinson and Macey Felumlee. Not done yet, Waggle gained 5th place points for the Scotties in the girls 100 Breaststroke followed by Star Jacobs, Laine Welker and Kayley Harper.
Holmes blew away the competition by over 14 seconds to finish 1st in the girls 200 IM followed by Seryna Mann who finished in 10th place followed by Allie Norman. Caroline next attacked the 100 Backstroke where she outdistanced her competition by nearly 6 seconds to capture 1st. She led the way for teammates Wriston, Robinson and Norman. Both of the latter two dropped time in that event.
Freshman Katya Liber led the way for Tri-Valley in the 50 Free where she finished 4th while posting a new personal best time, Teammates Wriston, Harper and Felumlee rounded out the field for the Dawgs.
In her second individual event, Liber had a solid performance in the 100 Free where she placed 5th while Junior Marissa Sees finished 8th. Swimmers Jacobs and Davis rounded out the field for TV.
On the boys side it was once again seniors Keegan Bumpus, Ben Jacoby, Chad Bell and Eric Allen. Bumpus started things off with a close race in the boys 200 Free where he finished first by .19 seconds followed by Brady Jacobs-Bell and Freshman Blaine Cox. In his next event, Bumpus nailed down 2nd place in the 100 Butterfly with a new best time. Nathan Saurebrey scored 10th place points followed by teammate Jacob Merry.
Putting a cap on a very successful swim year, senior Ben Jacoby had some very strong swims in the meet. In an improved time for his 500 Free he dropped over 5 seconds and just missed winning the event and ended in 2nd place. He was followed by teammates Jacobs-Bell and Merry. Jacoby also swam the 50 Free where he finished 3rd and again dropped time in the event.
Chad Bell, swimming his signature event, swam a career best 200 IM and captured 2nd place followed by Dittmar and Saurebrey (both of whom also dropped time in this event). Eric Allen also notched 2nd place in the boys 50 Free as he recorded a new “personal best time”. Teammates Blackstone and Lacy followed Allen and Jacoby.
Bell also recorded a second place finish in the 100 Breaststroke followed by Dittmar and Lacy. Bell, Dittmar and Lacy all recorded improved times in the 100 Breaststroke as they all recorded points for the Dawgs.
In the boys 100 Free, Mikal Blackstone was the top finisher for Tri-Valley followed by Will Kline, Tracy Beale and Eric Allen. In the 100 Backstroke, Mason McDaniel finished in 4th place followed by Will Kline. Both McDaniel and Kline recorded new “best times” in the 100 Free. Completing the field were Cox and Beale for the Scotties.
As the swim season comes to a close, the Scotties can be pleased with their progress as well as their accomplishments. Next, Tri-Valley prepares for the DI/DII Sectionals to be held in Steubenville, OH on Saturday, February 9, 2019.