Area teams off to strong start in 2016-17 season

Published 9:22 am Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Boyle County, Danville and Lincoln County each have a swimming team this season. That has resulted in significantly more swimmers this season and more optimism, said Boyle coach Crystal Estes.

Swimming is taking off in Danville again,” she said. “It had been waning since KSD’s pool closed, but it seems to be making a resurgence. There used to be three winter teams, in addition to the high school teams, competing for pool time. Now, those three have combined into one and it’s made a huge difference. We have more pool time, still not enough, but more than we had for several years when five teams were trying to find time in two pools, and that is what makes or breaks a team.

“With other sports, you can do other activities to stay in shape, such as running for basketball or soccer, but for swimming, you need to be in the pool. The more time we are in the pool, the faster all of us will become.”

Estes has four former swimmers in the coaching arena: Two are her assistants at Boyle County and two others, John and Emily Anderson, lead Danville and Lincoln County, respectively.

Current swimmers have been off to a fast start through three meets, Estes said.

“We are off to a great start this year. We finished strong last year and are continuing that into this season,” she said. “Our team has nearly doubled in size from last year, which is wonderful. I love that it’s growing and kids are coming out for the team. We have several meets in January and that will help me to determine what events to put swimmers in when it comes time for regionals.”

The most recent meet was Saturday at Woodford County, where Boyle, Danville and Lincoln all competed. Boyle finished fourth as a team, Danville eighth and Lincoln 15th out of 23 teams.

Danville’s girls’ team has been the area standard in recent meets, taking fifth at the Woodford meet.

Boyle’s girls’ team has improved this season, most notably in the relays. Estes said they broke the 200 freestyle relay record at the end of last season, and so far this year, the Rebels have set the school record in the 200 medley relay — and that time will drop, Estes said.

“The last three years they have been within two seconds of the medley relay record but never could breach the gap,” Estes said. “At the first meet this year, they were off two seconds but I felt confident they could get it at the next meet and they did. I have a feeling it will be broken a few more times before the season is over. There is one more record, the 400 free relay, that is still standing from 2006, that we would like to see broken this year as well.

“We have several new girls this year and the ones that returned from last year are having a great year so far. They are all dropping time in at least one event from their personal bests every meet. We also have four new girl divers and that is going to have a huge impact on our season. Last year we only had one girl compete at regionals, this year we hope to have four, which is the maximum number you can have in each event.”

Boyle’s successes last season and it being an Olympic year have played a role in the increased turnout, Estes said.

“Every year we have new swimmers, but this year we had a huge number of both boys and girls come out for the team,” she said. “… There were some that had never been on a swim team before, but the majority of new kids had swam before either on a summer league or with the YMCA team. We had two of our four male divers come back, but interest in diving has peaked as well. We have some football guys come out and give it a try. They have no fear and are ready for anything, which is a good attitude to have when it comes to diving.”

Having such a high amount of new swimmers is great for Estes because she can put them in different events and find where they excel, she said.

“I try to put them in at least one new event each meet, you never know what kid may shine in an event they didn’t want to do,” she said. “One of my favorite things to do as a coach, is to look at the meet report after a meet and see how many kids have dropped time and how much time they dropped. Seeing their times improve really shows that we are onto something. We have had three meets thus far and the list of time improvements for each one has been long.”

Area swimmers will stay busy through the break, and the Rebels will host their home meet on Jan. 24 at Centre.

Follow Matt Overing on Twitter @MOvering

WCI Swim Meet

From Saturday

Top local finishers

GIRLS

Team scores: 5. Danville 195; 7. Boyle County 139; 20. Lincoln County 2

200 medley relay: 5. Danville 2:05.16

200 free: 6. Jenna Akers (Danville) 2:16.93

200 IM: 9. Lara Akers (Danville) 2:35.23

50 free: 3. Sarah Burns (Boyle County) :27.27

100 fly: 5. Haley Akers (Danville) 1:08.45

100 free: 3. Sarah Burns (Boyle County) 1:00.24

500 free: 7. Morgan Vest (Danville) 6:02.26

200 free relay: 8. Danville 2:00.16

100 back: 2. Haley Akers (Danville) 1:06.42

100 breast: 4. Grace Crawford (Danville) 1:18.17

400 free relay: 4. Boyle County 4:10.58

BOYS

Team scores: 4. Boyle County 236; 10. Lincoln County 72; 13. Danville 52

200 medley relay: 4. Boyle County 1:46.44

200 free: 3. Hunter Hayes (Boyle County) 1:53.65

200 IM: 3. Hunter Hayes (Boyle County) 2:03.26

50 free: 8. Campbell Coyle (Boyle County) :24.16

100 fly: 6. Gabe Skelton (Boyle County) :59.42

100 free: 4. Campbell Coyle (Boyle County) :52.92

500 free: 5. Collin Cummins (Boyle County) 5:26.62

200 free relay: 4. Boyle County 1:40.27

100 back: 6. Gabe Skelton (Boyle County) 1:01.57

100 breast: 2. Collin Cummins (Boyle County) 1:03.41

400 free relay: 5. Boyle County 3:43.03