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AquaDogs win another ‘City Meet’

Evan Pinion, Bearden AquaDogs freshman standout swimmer, was quite reserved about his Knoxville-area Interscholastic Swim League record in 200-yard IM (1:56.01).

One of three meet records set by BHS en route to a commanding “City Meet” team championship Saturday, Jan. 23, at UT — its second straight and fifth in six seasons — Pinion said, “I actually broke a national age-group record that was held by Michael Phelps when he was 14 years old.”

Pinion topped the Olympic legend’s record time in 400-meter freestyle (3:57) and 800-free (8:08) last August during Junior Nationals Long Course meet in Seattle, Wash.

But Saturday evening, BHS sophomore Ally Hardesty went one better during final heats in Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center, breaking meet records in 50-freestyle [23.97] and 100-free [51.85].

“I didn’t expect to break two records at all,” she said. “This is a confidence builder going to state.”

With four AquaDogs winning double championships individually in addition to sweeping both 400-free relays, Bearden’s 771.50 points easily outdistanced archrival and No. 2 Farragut (505.50).

Hardin Valley Academy was on the Aqua Ads’ heels, taking third (497.50). Knoxville Catholic edged Webb School for fourth (479.50), with the Spartans fifth at 477.

Christian Academy of Knoxville was 11th among a 24-team field from Jefferson Co. to Cleveland.

Stephen Langdon, BHS head coach, said Hardesty and Pinion “just have incredible talent,” adding his team was “just incredible today.”

Bearden’s Hannah Pinion also was a double individual champion, winning 200-IM (2:11.28) and 500-free (5:14.94).

Kennedy Higdon, BHS senior and UT signee, claimed two wins: 100-butterfly (57.66) and 100-breaststroke (1:07.95).

Whitney Owen joined Hannah Pinion, Higdon and Hardesty to win 400-free relay (3:39.04).

On the BHS boys side, John Paul Gaylor captured 200-free (1:43.59) and 500-free (4:40.02).

Gaylor and Evan Pinion joined Caleb Allen and Kevin Johns to win 400-free relay (3:14.77).

If AquaDogs swimming wasn’t dominant enough, Bearden got things going strong Friday, Jan. 22, with 1-meter diving championships from UT signee James Dail (524.95), his second City Meet crown, and Lisa Bogosion (480.10).

Michael Bowman, FHS head coach, said Hayden Baker “did great on the 100-free [champ at 48.03], and 200-free [second].”

Andrew Wagner, HVA head coach, said his team “did about as good as we could have done.”

Jenny Darby led HVA by winning 200-free (1:56.03) and 100-backstroke (59.26) in addition to being a leg on the Lady Hawks’ 200-medley relay champs (1:52.26). “She’s a team captain, she’s a workhorse. ... She’s a good example for everybody on our team,” Wagner said.

Other 200-medley relays girls were Conny Zhao, Chelsea Kyle and Rachel Cruze.

Webb’s Alex Ward was double champ, 100-fly (50.91) and 100-back (53.81), and was a leg on the Spartans’ champion 200 medley relay with Gordon Petersen, O’Neill Bergeron and Brian Glatt.

Tennessee High School State Championships are Feb. 12-13 in Nashville.


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