Cyclones swim for Senior Night, season’s bests, another state-qualifying time
Published 10:44 pm Friday, December 17, 2021
BY KELLI BROUSSARD
Cyclone swimmers competed Thursday night in a small double-dual meet against Morristown East and West. In their win against the two schools, the Cyclones swam for 15 season-best times and added a second State qualifying time to their season’s accomplishments.
The meet was also marked by recognizing senior Elijah Smith for his accomplishments both in and out of the water.
The first event of the night, the 200 freestyle, saw freshman Grace Artz cut over 10 seconds for a new personal best time of 3:01.97 in a race against teammate Sophia James who came in just six hundredths of a second later.
On the men’s side, Liam Cannon improved his time by over a second.
The second event of the night was the 200 Individual Medley, an event that requires swimmers to master all four competitive strokes. Sophomore Cadie Digby swam her best time of the season by 4.76 seconds.
Morgan Roszel dropped his time to come within 23 hundredths of a second of the state qualifying time and Kody Broussard shaved 57 hundredths of a second off his time for the season.
Later in the evening, Roszel swam a personal best time in the 100 backstroke to qualify for State in his second event of the season. The sophomore had qualified in the 500 freestyle earlier this season.
Freshman Megan Royce swam for two personal best times in the 50 freestyle and 100 backstroke, cutting an impressive 10 seconds in the backstroke. Digby, competing in a heat with teammates Tabitha Tshuma and Layla El Helou, improved her time in the 100 freestyle by more than a second to come within 89 hundredths of her goal to qualify for the State meet.
Eva El Helou dropped 13.40 seconds in the longest event, the 500 freestyle, for a new personal best time of 8:17.84.
Immediately following that event she joined teammates Digby, Royce and Sophia James in the 200 freestyle relay for a season’s best time of 2:15.07. El Helou did not get much of a break before reentering the water for the 100 backstroke with teammate Megan Royce.
Both Cyclones smashed their previous times in the event by dropping eight seconds and 10.78 seconds consecutively.
The most demanding segment of the training season occurs during Christmas break for Cyclones swimmers.
Their next meet is January 8, 2022 at Tennessee High.
Smith is the son of Josh and Kristen Smith and the brother of Lucy and Hudson Smith. Elijah’s mother, sister and brother came in support of Elijah for the competitio.
Smith began swimming competitively when he was six-years-old and qualified and competed at the State meet last season in the 50 freestyle. This season he is working toward qualifying in the 50 and 100 free, 200 IM and 100 Fly.
He enjoys competing on the tennis team and singing in the men’s ensemble for Elizabethton High School and playing guitar. He works part time at Ingles and volunteers at One Acre Café in Johnson City.
He currently maintains a 4.0 grade point average and hopes to swim in college where he is currently planning to pursue a degree in the health sciences.