The long grind of the holiday training for the Mount Gilead High School swim team took a brief break for the annual High School versus Alumni swim meet on Friday, Dec. 27 at the Marion YMCA.
The MGHS women’s medley relay of Elly Herr, Courtney West, Brianna Snow, and Lexi Hinkle finished in first place, while the Alumni relay of Sarah Porter King, Braelyn Snow, Lauren Gossens, and Genesis Rocks gave them a good race. Sarah still holds the team record in the 100 yard backstroke and she continues to show the record form as she touched the wall first on the lead off position. The quote from Elly Herr after the race was “she is still a beast!”. Taylor Clark, Savanah Christian, Erika Stevens and Julia Marshall took third place and the Alumni Relay of Erin Combs, Katie Adams, Courtney Stratton and Haley Barnhart finished in fourth.
The men’s medley relay was a different story. The Alumni relay of Kris Brown, Nick Gould, Justin Francis, and David Hawk won the event over MGHS relay of Jay Stratton, David Kamyar, Logan Conrad, and Kyle Landes. The high school relay had a small lead going into the last leg, but the fastest swimmer in school history hit the water for the alumni and he streaked down the pool and back to win the event for the former tankers. David Hawk is now swimming for the Fighting Quakers of Wilmington College. Coming in third place was MGHS relay of Andrew McFarland, Colton Long, Aaron Evans, and Kurtis Brown.
The next event was the women’s 100 freestyle which matched up MGHS sprinter Lexie Hinkle against Genesis Rocks. Rocks is swimming for Wilmington College. Hinkle won the event but was wearing an illegal suit. After deliberating the official decided to allow the swim to stand since it was not an official high school meet. Also scoring was Taylor Clark. Swimming for the Alumni was Katie Adams.
The Men’s 100 freestyle had the Alumni with a 1-2 finish, with Hawk and Francis touching the wall ahead of Landes and McFarland.
Hawk continues to hold the team record in the event.
In what may have been the most hyped match up of the evening, current MGHS swimmer and team captain Brianna Snow went head to head with her older sister and former team captain Braelyn Snow. The sisters hit the water and matched each other stroke for stroke on the butterfly and backstroke. Braelyn pulled ahead slightly on the breaststroke and appeared to be going to win when Brianna attacked the last 10 feet and touched the wall at the same time. A large crowd was on hand for the meet and the cheer went up for the young women’s efforts. Without the aid of electronic timing the official called it a tie. Erika Stevens scored third place points for MGHS.
Former two time team captain Quinten Denman represented the men’s alum and finished in first place in the IM. “Q” took it out very fast and was able to hold off a charge by MGHS frosh Logan Conrad, as well as Grant Trimmer and Colton Long.
The freestyle sprint was 1-2 finish by MGHS Hinkle and Clark. The 3rd place points went to Lauren Gossens. Finishing next were: Katie Adams, Erin Combs, Hallie Marlow, and Marion McGill.
The men’s sprint event went to alum Justin Francis. MGHS frosh Kyle Landis touched in second and third went to alum Nick Gould. Rounding out the event were MGHS Stratton, Trimmer, and Long.
The butterfly went to MGHS for a 1-2 finish (Snow and Stevens) and the only alum brave enough to swim the event - Courtney Stratton took third.
The butterfly for the men was won by MGHS frosh Logan Conrad by a hard charge at the end to outpower Justin Francis. Quinten Denman finished in third over Aaron Evans.
The next event was truly a sight to see for those who were on hand to witness it. The women’s 50 yard freestyle was won by Sarah Porter King with a time of 28.56. That time would put her as the second fastest woman on the current team behind phenom freshman Erin Zmuda. The current women on the team stood in awe.
The men’s alum answered the challenge of Sarah’s amazing swim with a 1-3 finish by Hawk and Francis. Hawk won by over 5 seconds, which is amazing in the short race. Hawk’s time was 23.12. His school record is 22.76.
Another interesting match up was Elly Herr against Braelyn Snow in the distance event. Snow is the current record holder and Herr has set her sights on taking the record. She missed by three seconds last year. Herr swam the event fast enough to win over the former MGHS standout. If Herr holds that pace the next time she swims in an official meet, she will break the school record. Also swimming the distance event were Marlow for MGHS and Haley Barnhart and Erin Combs for the alumni.
The MGHS men took 1-3 (Evans and Jacob Barnhart) and the alum of Francis and Kris Brown took 2-4. Brown incorporated all four competitive strokes into his swim.
The MGHS women won the sprint free relay and the alum went 2-3. The alumni men touched in first but was found to be in violation of using the same swimmer twice. The points went to MGHS.
Once again, Sarah Porter King showed herself to be a champion by winning the backstroke event. Herr finished in 2nd for MGHS. Katie Adams finished in 3rd and Julia Marshall in 4th.
Jay Stratton had a come from behind charge to out pace Quinten Denman in the men’s backstroke. McFarland finished in 3rd for MGHS.
In the breaststroke event, the winner was Genesis Rocks for the alumni, outstretching Courtney West for the win. Christian picked up 3rd. The men’s breaststroke event was close as well. Nick Gould swam an outstanding race but come up .01 second behind David Kamyar for 1st place. Jacob Barnhart took 3rd and Kris Brown took 4th.
The alumni women and men both won their last event of the evening - the 200 free relay. The winning relays were Braelyn Snow, Sarah Porter King, Erin Combs, and Lauren Gossens for the women. The men’s relay was Justin Francis, David Hawk, Kris Brown, and Nick Gould. MGHS relays were: Hallie Marlow, Erika Stevens, Savanah Christian, Julia Marshall for the women and Aaron Evans, Kurtis Brown, Andrew McFarland, and Grant Trimmer for the men.
Final scores for the meet were the high school women winning 69-55 and the Alumni men winning 58-52.