By Denis House
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
BARBOURVILLE—North Laurel had two podium finishes at this year’s region swim meet, held Friday and Saturday in Barbourville.
The boys’ 200 medley relay team of Barrett James, Keller Brown, Aussie Walter and Ray Hays finished in seventh place with a time of 1:54.79 for North Laurel’s first podium finish. The first individual to podium for the Jaguars was Keller Brown, who placed fifth in the boys’ breaststroke with a personal best time of 1:02.77.
“We returned 13 swimmers to the finals this year,” North Laurel coach Amy Stenger said. “All six relay teams qualified to swim on Saturday as well as two boys, Aussie Walter and Keller Brown, for individual events.”
As a team, North Laurel placed 12th overall combined out of 26 teams. The boys’ team cracked the top 10 with a ninth place finish with 66 points. The girls’ team placed 14th with 34 points, just one point shy of 13th place Madison Southern.
“To put things in perspective last year the boys placed 18th with 14 points and the girls placed 19th with six points,” Stenger said.
The girls’ 200 medley relay team of Audrey Jackson, Katie Brown, Sydney King and Megan Mills placed 12th with a time of 2:13.88. The girls’ 200 free relay team of Mills, Autumn Asher, Brown and king took 11th in 1:57.67.
In the girls’ 400 free relay, Mills, Teri Jackson, Brown and King finished in 11th with a tie of 4:31.23.
The boys’ 200 free relay team of James, Brown, Aussie Walter and Hays placed 12th with a time of 1:42.45, while the 400 free relay team of James, Brett Walter, Collin Gilkinson and Jonah Deaton placed 12th in 4:19.18. Aussie Walter placed 13th in the 50 freestyle with a time of 24.11. Keller Brown took 13th in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:17.03.
South Laurel had seven girls back for the final day of action, as the 200 medley relay team of Poppy Spadlin, Hayden Combs, Rhiannon Spadlin and Sydney McWhorter placed 14th. The girls’ 400 free relay team of Rhiannon Spadlin, Gracie Scott, Combs and McWhorter took 10th. Sydney McWhorter qualified as second alternate in the girls’ 50 freestyle.
“The great thing about these girls, and really the entire team, is that they will all be back to swim next year,” South Laurel coach Sarah Wilder said. “The difference in the whole teams times from our last meet to region was phenomenal. Significant amount of time was dropped across the board. Those kids swam their best races all year on Friday and Saturday.”
South Laurel finished with a combined team score of 20 points for 20th place. The girls finished in 16th place with 20 points.