Cyclones finish third at NETS Regional Championship

Published 1:45 pm Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Competing against nine schools and one homeschool team on Saturday, the Elizabethton Cyclones swimming boys and girls ended their regular season with the Northeast Tennessee Regional Championship meet at the Kingsport Aquatic Center.  The girls finished third while the boys placed fourth for a combined third place overall behind Science Hill and Dobyns-Bennett.  The competition began Saturday morning with the preliminary session in which each competitor swam two individual events.  In order to qualify for the final session that evening and repeat their events in the final session, swimmers placing first through eighth in preliminaries return to repeat their events in the final heat while those that place ninth through sixteenth compete in the consolation final heat.  The preliminary session qualified sixteen of the eighteen team members who returned for finals after a three-hour break between the two sessions.  During that break, the team returned home, where they could eat a good meal to replenish themselves and rest comfortably in order to prepare for the scoring session.
The final session began with the 200 Medley relay.  Emerson Jetmore entered the water in the third leg of the race almost four seconds behind Tennessee High.  She made up half of the deficit to set teammate Grace Artz up for her fastest Freestyle split of 30.64 to out-touch the Vikings by just .14 seconds for fourth place.  The boys’ relay followed with an earsplitting performance.  RJ Brewer entered the water for the third leg of the race almost two seconds behind the Science Hill relay.  His split of 26.02 on the Butterfly leg closed the deficit to just .08 seconds for anchor Kody Broussard.  Broussard closed the gap in the final five yards of the race to out-touch Science Hill for second place by a mere nine-hundredths of a second amid the deafening cheers of the swimmers and fans that packed the arena for the competition.  “It was a great way to start the meet and get everyone excited to race,” said head coach Kelli Broussard.
Of the thirty-six individual swims throughout the day, the team achieved twenty-six personal best times, seventeen consolation finalists and twelve top-eight finishes.  Cadie Digby was the team’s highest point earner, scoring 36 points for the team.  Digby won the 50 Freestyle, breaking her own school record with a time of 25.29.  She later broke the school’s twenty-four-year-old 100 Freestyle record with a time of 56.52 to earn a third-place finish.  Midway through the evening, the girls 200 Freestyle relay team duplicated the exciting race from the earlier Medley relay when Cara Carr entered the water for the third leg of the race 2.72 seconds behind Volunteer.  She narrowed their lead to just 1.08 seconds for anchor Digby to come from behind for a fourth-place finish just 1.54 seconds ahead of the Falcons.
Brewer, Morgan Roszel and Broussard each scored 29 points for the team.  Brewer achieved a third state qualifying time in the 200 Individual Medley with a time of 2:16.86 to place fourth and another personal best time in the 100 Butterfly of 59.31 to place fifth.  Roszel improved on his 500 Freestyle for a time of 5:06.29, placing third in the event.  Broussard qualified for the State competition in both of his individual events, the 100 Freestyle and 100 Backstroke, with personal best times of 52.41 and 59.74 consecutively, placing sixth and third.
Five Cyclones will continue to train for the State competition in Knoxville at the University of Tennessee’s Allan Jones Aquatic Center on February 10-11.  Brewer, Broussard, Liam Cannon, Digby, and Roszel will travel with a handful of other teammates who have earned the trip to support the swimmers.  Tickets may be purchased online at https://my-site-108987-100640.square.site.

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