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FHS ends AquaDog ‘city meet’ reign
Swim-dive Ads stroke to first KISL title since 2004; Bearden 2nd, Webb 3rd

With fist held high and glad-handing from poolside, Farragut junior Eric Craig knew he’d capped off a championship night after anchoring the Admirals’ winning 400-yard freestyle relay.

“To finish first kinda signaled the end of Bearden’s dynasty,” Craig said after helping lead Farragut to its first Knox-area Interscholastic Swim League “city meet” title since 2004, ending a three-year title run by the archrival AquaDogs.

“We worked our butts off all year long, and it’s a great way to start the close of our season.”

Craig also was champion in the 200-free (1:46.84), as the Aqua Admirals won four events while scoring big on depth during the Saturday, Jan. 26, swimming finals in UT’s Student Aquatic Center.

Laurel Chaney provided FHS’s other individual first-place by winning the 100-backstroke (59:29). She also anchored Farragut’s first-place effort in the 200-free relay (1:40.80), along with Cecilia Wille, Jenny Darby and Brittany Rooney.

Craig’s teammates in the 400-free relay (3:19.29) were Seth Carter, Michael James and Hayden Baker.

Farragut (722 points) won despite fewer first-place finishes (four) during the 24 events versus either second-place Bearden (626 points/five firsts) or third-place Webb (570 points/seven firsts).

But quality depth was critical in grabbing numerous second-, third- and fourth-place finishes.

“We had a lot of kids really step up tonight,” FHS head coach Mike Bowman said. “George Stephens, 100-breaststroke[fourth], amazing swim for him. Dropped two seconds off his best time.

“Andrew Kaminsky, 100-free, he’s dropped probably 30 seconds over the last two, three years,” Bowman added. “Freshman Hayden Baker did a phenomenal 100-fly [second]. ... Seth Carter, second-place in the backstroke.”

Confidence gained by beating Bearden and Webb during regular season dual meets also was huge according to Wille, FHS senior captain: “It really gave us momentum coming into this meet. To win this year means so much.”

Overall, five of the top six team finishes belonged to westside schools, as Knoxville Catholic was fifth (306) and Christian Academy of Knoxville sixth (288).

Bearden won the diving competition Friday, Jan. 25, led by James Dail (second) and Kurtis Allen (third) on the boys’ side, and Lisa Bogosian (second), Rachael Roof (third) and Ruth Hahn (fourth) for the AquaDog girls.

Bearden swim champs were Bo Fethe (200-individual medley and 100-breaststroke), Andrew Frost (50-free), Kennedy Higdon (500-free) and the 200-free relay team of Frost, Garrett Thompson, Spencer Bard and Cliff Robins.

Webb set meet records in winning the girls 200-medley relay (1:50.06) with Jennifer Muhlheim, Katie Keel, Paige Ayres and Stephanie Ward, and the boys 200-medley relay (1:40.07) with Gordon Petersen, Bryce Bertoli, Alex Ward and Hunter Banister.

The Spartans also won the girls 400-free relay. Individually, Webb champs were Stephanie Ward (100-free), Alex Ward (100-back, 100-fly) and Keel (100-breast).

Leading Catholic’s champion efforts was Jace Howanitz, who set a meet record in winning the 200-IM (2:05.04). Howanitz also won the 100-fly, while John Paul Gaylor was first in the 500-free.

Champions from CAK were Jenna Voelkert in the 200-free and Mike Zaczyk in the 100-free.

State meet is Friday and Saturday, Feb. 8-9, in Nashville.

Bowman said Baylor is the prohibitive favorite to win state.


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