Swimchester Sailfish shine in competition

Published 6:48 pm Thursday, April 1, 2021


What a great team effort these two weekends were!  Thank you to all of the parents who chauffeured tired/grumpy/nervous/elated kids all weekend(s), to those who officiated or timed, and to everyone else who made it happen.

As far as team scores go, we finished 9th out of 23 teams in all three categories: men’s, women’s, and combined scoring.  We have very few kids aging up this Summer, so our team goal has got to be to continue with our great, consistent training to keep working toward getting ALL of our kids improving to better our finish here.  All of our kids who were in this meet were pretty great.  Of the 138 swims, 102 were lifetime best times, for a 74% PR rate.  And top to bottom, everyone was better on relays than they were in their individual races.  Once everyone got the “first session nerves” out of their systems on Friday morning, the Sailfish looked great for the remaining 8 sessions each weekend.

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At the girls’ meet, we had 18 women representing the Sailfish.  And from our 9 year olds to 17, they stepped up.

-Samantha Coffey battled back from a rough Friday morning with some GREAT swims on Saturday and Sunday and put herself right back at her lifetime bests in the 200 Breast, 500 Free, and the 1650 (and was 4th here!) in addition to being an absolute monster on relays.

-Sarah Coffey’s meet was much like her sister’s.  Her 500, 1000, and 200 Fly on Sat and Sunday were awesome and went a full second under her best time in the 100 Free on the relays!  She was awesome.

-Madison “Denny” Denniston has been a great story this year.  She has improved so much this year (as a junior, first-year swimmer) and EARNED a spot on the 200 Free A relay.  I can’t wait to see what she can do in Year 2.

-Carlie Hall struggled in the beginning sessions of the meet (yet still managed to score in the 400 IM and 200 Back), but rebounded on Sunday to finish 10th in the 200 Fly right on her best time and was great on our Open Girls relays.

-Taylor Hatfield had three heartbreakingly close misses of the 1000 Free state cut this Winter, and so was just in the State meet for relays.  In February, her best time in the 100 Free was 1:00.2.  She went a 58.8 at the Last Chance meet.  But then she went 56.6 and 56.8 on the two 400 relays and lowered her individual best time to 58.0 in a time trial.  Talk about showing up for the team!

-It was a HUGE deal for Jaylee Hearne to make the meet.  She had shown consistent improvement in everything all year, but had JUST missed cuts several times.  When she got her first one in Barbourville, her confidence bloomed and she went ahead and got the 200IM at the Last Chance meet.  She dropped HUGE time in all of her races.  I can’t wait to see what she can do as a 10 year old at this meet!

-Edie House was an animal all weekend.  She went from having ZERO cuts on 1/30, to walking into this meet with SEVEN, and scoring in FIVE of them.  In just her first year of year-round swimming, this is crazy.  And she still has LC State as a 10 year, so watch out, world.

-Lea Kraft is on a major upswing right now where basically every time she touches a pool in any event, she’s dropping big best times. She took advantage of it and scored in her best event, the 50 Breast, before she ages up to 13-14 for the summer season.

-Sophie Lewis has been an incredible surprise for us.  After spending all season in Bronze, she just missed four state cuts at our January Smackdown meet.  She pulled off the 100 Fly cut in Barbourville (in the same heat as Jaylee and Edie also getting the cut!).  She got the 50 Back at the Last Chance meet (barely), but then made it back to finals in the 50 Back at State!  This is a great springboard to aging up to 11-12s for the summer season.

-Maggie was an absolute animal for us on relays.  She’s improved so much over this last season that she earned that spot, but she’s also such a great leader in the Silver group (and the team at large) that it just felt right that she had this opportunity.  I can’t wait to see what she does in long course.

-Clara Jane has been the epitome of resilience.  After battling a shoulder injury, she’s now performing at a level (as a 7th grader) that has our HS girls getting nervous.  She earned a spot on both the Open 400 Free and 400 Medley relays and did not waste the opportunity and dropped big time in the 100 Free and 100 Back time trials.

-Kentlee Patrick has probably been our most consistent swimmer all year, which is rare for someone first taking the plunge (kinda…) into year-round swimming.  You can always count on her to perform in the 50 and 100 free and to show up big on relays.  Whenever she decides she can do the 100 Fly, she’ll be great there too!

-Harper Sebulsky has had a frustrating season, so to see her drop a little bit of time in 2-of-4 events was great.  She’s right on the precipice of blowing up (in a good way) so I can’t wait for LC for her!

-Libby Taylor suffered from the same “Friday morning nerves” as all of the older girls, but REALLY got it together and finished her meet strong by scoring in the 400IM, 1000, winning consoles in the 200 fly (and dropping 11 seconds), and was one puking fit away from finishing Top-8 in the 1650.  As a 13 year old.

-Marissa Thomas made the most of her 10yo season and racked-up 7 cuts, but could only swim 6 of them due to the “3 events per day” limit, as 4 fell on the same day.  She scored in 5 of the 6, including becoming a state medalist by finishing 7th (and dropping 3 seconds) in the 100 back.  She was also our highest-scoring female Sailfish in the meet, too!  She’ll still be 10 for long course, so watch out!

-Savannah Thomas is having a season much like what Lea is having, dropping HUGE time in everything every time she touches a pool.  She earned her spot in both of the 11-12 girls relays and dropped big time in her time trial races, too.  She’ll still be 12 for long course, so expect her to pick up a few individual cuts this summer.

-Alexis Trent had a meet that none of us could have predicted, really.  She’d looked phenomenal in her sprint and backstroke events for the weeks leading into the meet…and was pretty close to best times here.  But where she really shone was in the distance events.  If you would have told me that she would score (and drop big time) in the 1000 and 1650, I would have told you that you were pretty off-base.  She’s a good example of it being really hard to predict what kind of athletes these kids will be when they mature (strokes/distances), so being patient and open to new challenges usually pays off.

-Mollie Grace has been steadily improving all season and picked up her first State cut at the EKU meet.  She went on to pick up 4 more in the meets following.  To go on and score in the 100 and 200 IM and the 100 Free was pretty awesome, especially when last season her favorite stroke was pushing off the bottom!

The boys were pretty great, too.

-Wyatt Allen managed to pick up 7 cuts for the 10 & Unders…and he’s only 8 years old.  To then go on and make it back to finals in 100 IM and 50 back…again, as an 8 year old…is huge.  He’s got two more full years in this age group to do some serious damage there.

-Ethan entered the meet projected to score (Top-16) in only 2 of his 8 events.  After the meet, there were only 2 of his 8 events he DIDN’T score in. He would tell you he’s most happy with breaking 1:00 in the 100 Free, but his performances in the 200IM, 200 Free, and 500 Free were even better.  He’s still got long course as a 12yo, so that meet should be at an even higher level than this one!

-Andrew Jirak but on a clinic for those who were watching.  Dropped 4 seconds in 200 back and was 4 tenths of a second from making Top 16 (his second time ever swimming it).  Drops almost a full second in 100 Breast.  Drops 2 tenths in 50 Free and got out knowing each of the little mistakes he made that would have improved his time. Time trials the 200 Breast and gets the state cut (first time ever swimming it). Qualifies 9th for finals in 100 back and gets within 1 second of the Futures cut (a big deal!).  Drops a few more hundredths at night.  Oh…and he’s only been training consistently since June.

-Patrick Kraft was in much the same position as Wyatt, in that he turned 9 just a week or so before the State meet, so basically an 8yo.  Not only did he get the 50 and 100 Breast cuts (and was very close in several others), he made it back and scored in the 100 Breast on Sunday night, too!  He dropped massive time in everything and was simply great every time he swam. Getting finals experience as a young kid in an age group only makes you better as the old kid in the age group the next year.

-Jordan Pustelnik had the tough combination of stretching out a taper (he rested for Last Chance and then again for State), the Friday morning jitters that all of the older kids had, and it was his first time ever at a big meet like this.  He had a rough day on Friday.  But, he followed it up with a huge drop on Saturday in the 500 and then was right on his best time in the 100 back on Sunday.  His rapid improvement makes it easy to forget that he’s only been swimming for 18 months.

-Without a doubt, Knox Taylor was the Sailfish MVP of the meet.  He outright won 4 10&Under events and finished 2nd in his other 4, putting him 2nd in the Individual High Point scoring for his age group.  It was a whopping 146.5 points and 31.7% of all Sailfish points scored!  The dude didn’t have a bad swim all weekend.  While he was unhappy he didn’t win a few more, he raced…and the times/places/finishes took care of themselves.  Like many of the others, he’ll stay in this age group for the summer to do battle with his Lakeside rival, Teddy Moter.