Thursday, January 10, 2013Author: Jonathan Herrmann
(Last modified: 2013-01-10 17:00:43)
Lenoir City's middle school and high school swim teams recorded home wins against Halls Saturday.
The high school swimmers won 147-125, while the middle school team won 146-63.
With one more home meet scheduled against Knoxville Karns and Grace Christian, the Knox-area Interscholastic Swim League City Meet and Tennessee Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association State Meet are fast approaching.
"I need two more boys to make state cuts so I can take four (as a relay team) and I've got two girls who already qualified for state," high school coach Kendahl McMahan said. "Basically what I'm looking for is more city cuts and state cuts if we can get them in."
The two girls who already make state cuts are Madison Gump and Courtney Pethers. Seth Hughes has also qualified for state, but because he attends Midway High School he will be separated from the team at state.
"Seth Hughes swims for us, but he goes to a different high school," McMahan said. "He already has one state cut, but since goes to a different high school he cannot join with us at state, so he has to swim alone."
Two other boys are close to making state cuts for Lenoir City. Freshman Jacob Gump's season-best time of 1:02.31 in the 100-yard butterfly is just .52 seconds off the state qualifying time, and sophomore Ben Haney's 50-yard freestyle time is just .42 seconds off.
"I've got two that are extremely close," McMahan said. "I'm pretty much positive they'll get their cuts in."
Two more girls have also come close to qualifying in the 50-yard freestyle. Senior Holly Jones' time of 28.62 is 1.23 seconds off the qualifying time, and junior Olivia Fisher's 28.26 is .87 seconds away.
Lenoir City had 22 swimmers record personal bests Saturday. Freshman Graham Denton's time in the 500-yard freestyle, 6:56.99, was good enough to qualify for the city meet.
The Panthers were strong in relays Saturday, winning seven of 10 between the high school and middle school.
After the final regular season meet at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Claire Donahue Aquatic Center, the team will have two weeks before the Jan. 27 KISL City Meet and another two weeks before the state meet Feb. 8-9. The team will turn its training toward small corrections.
"It's really working on small things like techniques and turns," McMahan said. "Yardage will be less a little because we'll be tapering."
McMahan said she has been happy with the season so far. A combination of strong underclassmen and the middle school team gives her hope for the program's future.
"We're growing and we're doing better and we're taking more people to state," she said. "I'm excited."
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