Regional championship results in a dozen Top 10s, three school records for Cyclone swimmers
Published 12:55 am Tuesday, January 25, 2022
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BY KELLI BROUSSARD
The twelve members of the Cyclones swim team concluded their regular season at the Kingsport Aquatic Center on Saturday where they competed against eleven schools in the Northeast Tennessee Swimming Regional Championship swim meet.
Nine members of the team earned ribbons and medals in the meet as a reward for their hard work and commitment in the water over the last twelve weeks.
Five members of the team will have their names posted on the record board that adorns the wall inside the Elizabethton High School pool area.
The preliminary session saw all twelve members of the team compete in order to determine the top 16 in each event to return for the final session that evening.
Senior Elijah Smith earned his place in finals in the 50 Freestyle and 100 Butterfly where he placed fourth and fifth. He lowered his 50 Freestyle school record by half a second with a time of 23.28 and swam a personal best time of 58.82 in the Butterfly. He will compete in the same two events at the State Championship meet next month.
Sophomore Kody Broussard swam the 200 Freestyle and 100 Backstroke, placing fourth and sixth, with new personal best times of 1:53.87 and 1:00.11 consecutively. His Freestyle race was just 1.70 seconds shy of the schools’ record. He will swim the 200 and 500 Freestyle in Nashville.
Another sophomore, Morgan Roszel, placed fifth in the 200 Individual Medley with a time of 2:10.11, lowering his previous school record by 1.89 seconds. He also competed in the 100 Backstroke, placing fifth with a time of 1:00.22.
“Morgan has two milestones to break when he swims the same events in Nashville next month. Breaking 2:10 in the I.M. and 1:00 in the Backstroke are common goals for swimmers in those events,” said Coach Kelli Broussard.
A third sophomore, RJ Brewer, qualified for finals in both of his events, the 100 Butterfly and 100 Freestyle. RJ knocked over three seconds off his previous best time in the Fly to place sixth. He re-entered the water just 10 minutes later for his 100 Freestyle. Still recovering from the previous event, he nonetheless bettered his time from the preliminaries by over half a second for a time of 1:00.46 and a twelfth-place finish.
“This situation benefits directly from the miles of training we put in before these big meets,” said Broussard. “We prepare these kids to swim fast even when they’re tired.”
Freshman Liam Cannon qualified for his first-ever finals in both of his events, placing eighth in his signature 100 Breaststroke and 9th in the 200 Individual Medley. His I.M. time was 6.20 seconds faster than his previous best time in the event.
The relay team of Smith, Broussard, Roszel and Brewer entertained the spectators in a thrilling 200 Freestyle relay when they broke the school record by 1.64 seconds. They placed third behind Science Hill by just .87 seconds. The same four boys placed second in the 400 Freestyle relay behind Science Hill.
Overall, the boys placed 4th out of the eleven teams competing in the meet.
Sophomore Cadie Digby swam a preliminary time of 1:05.37 in the 100 Butterfly to place her third going into finals where she out-touched the second-place qualifier by just 47 hundredths of a second to place second in the final race. She clocked in at 1:03.52, bettering the school record she set last season by 6.26 seconds.
Sophomore Sophia James also swam the 200 Individual Medley, placing 9th in the event with a personal best time and milestone breaking 2:59.34.
She dropped over four seconds from her preliminary and previous best times in the event. Fellow sophomore teammate Layla El Helou also clocked a personal best time in the 100 Freestyle by dropping 1.25 seconds for a time of 1:25.72. Ella Edmondson, another sophomore, improved in both of her events, cutting 3.44 seconds in her 50 freestyle and an impressive 9.79 seconds in her 100 Freestyle.
Freshman, Grace Artz, placed 10th in the 500 Freestyle with a personal best time of 7:24.35, dropping over 5 seconds from just a week before. She also competed in the 100 Backstroke, placing 11th while dropping more than seventeen seconds for a personal best time of 1:28.82.
Fellow freshman Tabitha Tshuma swam the 50 and 100 freestyles, improving her times by .42 and 6.01 seconds consecutively.
The girls relay team of Digby, James, Eva El Helou, and Artz placed third and sixth in the 200 Medley and 200 Freestyle relays. Overall, the girls placed fifth out of the eleven female teams competing on the day.
The boys and girls combined placed fourth against the 12 teams in the Regional meet.
Smith, Broussard, Roszel, Digby, Brewer, and Cannon will all compete in the State Championship in Nashville on February 11th and 12th.
The entire team will be there to support them at the Centennial Sportsplex near Vanderbilt University. Tickets for the entire meet are $25 and can be purchased online at https://nashville-aquatic-club.square.site/.