Swimmers set school records, state next

Published 11:29 pm Monday, February 12, 2018


Area swim and dive teams went to Woodford County last week for the Region 6 championships.

Boyle County boys placed first overall and Boyle girls placed second, earning the Rebels a second-overall finish behind North Oldham.

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Danville girls placed fifth and Lincoln girls placed 12th, while Lincoln boys were ninth and Danville boys were 12th.

“I am so proud of all of them,” Boyle head coach Crystal Ellis said. “The kids dove and swam great. We had some ups and downs during the meet. We knew going in to Friday that the girls should be second, the boys first, and we were within reach of winning combined. This is the highest the girls have finished in 10 years, so that’s an awesome thing to celebrate. Some things didn’t go our way and I hate that for those kids, but we have to move on and look to state. Overall, we had a great meet.”

Each team had school records fall, with the Rebels setting a new Region 6 record in the 200 medley relay. Danville’s Grace Crawford (100 yard breaststroke) and Elisabeth Nesmith (100 yard freestyle) each set a record, and Lincoln’s Woods Smith set multiple records. Smith is also the first Lincoln County swimmer that will attend state.

It took some record-breaking performances for the Rebels, who finished 40 points ahead of Woodford County for the boys’ title. 

“They were focused,” Ellis said. “They knew it was going to be close between us and North Oldham for overall and between us and Woodford for the boys championship.They all wanted to win and they swam their hardest.”

On the girls side, Ashton Cox set the school record in the 100 freestyle — one day after teammate Natalie Hayes broke the 20-year record. Hayes will also attend state in the 100 fly, qualifying by winning that event at region.

After some strong performances in their final home meet of the season, Ellis said some unplanned tapering took place due to snow cancellations. Another taper before the region meet was successful as well, she said.

“Yes, taper worked and we had some huge time drops for several kids,” Ellis said. “Taper is hard for several of them because they get antsy and have extra energy. I kept telling them to harness it and use that energy on Friday and Saturday and they did.”

Boyle placed five on the All-Region team: Hunter Hayes, Jared Stivers, Campbell Coyle, Ashton Cox, Natalie Hayes. Stivers won the boys’ diving competition and enters the state meet with the No. 5 seed.

“I knew we would have a few, but was thrilled to have 5,” Ellis said. “The region champions are automatically on the all-region team, so we had four of those (Natalie, Hunter, Ashton and Jared).  Campbell was a bit of a surprise because he earned his spot based on the NISCA Powerpoints. Each event is scored based on the time you swim and then added together. They fill the additional spots on the all region team with the highest powerpoint earners. We had one and so did Lincoln.”

The teams have two weeks to prep for state, which will be held at Louisville.

We have several seeded in the top 16 so we are hoping to stay in those positions or to move up,” Ellis said. “I’d love to have a few of them in the top 8 and get on the podium to medal this year again … Swimming and diving are hard. They are not easy sports and it takes time and lots of effort, but in the end it’s worth it.”