Area swim seniors honored in final home meet

Published 11:51 pm Thursday, January 25, 2018

Boyle County, Danville and Lincoln County had their last “home” meet of the season on Thursday at Centre College.

The trio of area teams honored their seniors — 12 from Boyle, eight from Danville and one from Lincoln — throughout the event.

All seniors are special, but this year was a unique crop for Danville head coach John Anderson.

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“This group was really special to me because these guys that are graduating now, they were seventh graders my first year of coaching,” Anderson said. “They’ve never had any other coach. I feel like that’s my true recruiting class, my real first class. I’ve had seniors before but for me, this is my first real true senior class, from middle school till now.”

Anderson was excited about his youth rising in the ranks when he took the Danville job. As seniors, they’ve got multiple school records under their arms with regionals and state still to go this year.

“Those seventh graders then, they knew they were really talented and athletic,” Anderson said. “They asked me what their future would be like, and as a young coach, I was really excited, because I knew we were going to break school records and go to state. It’s just been a fun journey.”

The same can be said about the Boyle seniors, who make up the largest class of swimmers and divers to come through for head coach Crystal Ellis.

“This is by far our biggest class, we have 12 seniors,” Ellis said. “I think the most we had before was maybe six or seven. We’re losing a lot, we have a lot of senior leadership, we have a lot of fast kids. It’s bittersweet, I want to send them out on a good note going into regionals in a couple of weeks. They swam well tonight and hopefully we can do that in a couple of weeks.”

Regionals are in two weeks in Woodford County, with state following.

“Our postseason, here it comes,” Anderson said. “Feb. 9 and 10 we’ll be swimming prelims in Versailles. Feb. 7, that’ll be the diving championships. That dive meet is going to be a lot of fun to watch. I know with us, we’re excited about our relays, our boys and girls. On the boys side, tonight we finally feel like we’ve solved the puzzle. We’ve been searching for something all year with our relays, and we feel like we found it tonight.”

On the girls side, Anderson said it’s been a challenge improving year after year — they’re keeping similar times to last year, but they want to be better.

“We’re always trying to get better, and it’s hard to do that,” Anderson said. “We’re kind of going through that right now this year, we’re right at that level where we were last year, we’re trying to punch through and be a little bit better, get faster and place higher. But man, it’s just been awesome with this group.”

Time off last week due to snow was a mixed bag, Ellis said.

“I think we’re at a good place right now, the snow last week hurt us a little bit, being out of the pool,” she said. “But I think for some of them that was good to have that break and see a time drop today and on Saturday. They can tell that tapering works. They can see that they’re going to swim really well.”

Anderson said Thursday’s meet was special for all 21 seniors involved. They have meets together, have practiced together and grew up together.

“This senior class, there’s so many school records being represented,” he said. “I can’t get across how special this group of seniors is to me. I had coach Tasha (Singleton) read the stuff off because I couldn’t read it. It wasn’t just the kids, too, it was the parents. Some of these parents have been with the program, I’ve been going to them for help, and some of them are leaving, they don’t have kids on the swim team anymore. You’re saying goodbye to these swimmers and their families, and that’s really hard. I was just trying to really just enjoy the moment tonight.”