Breaking 4 records, Hawks KISL champs

KNOXVILLE — Breaking four Knox-area Interscholastic Swim League records, Hardin Valley Academy swim and dive team captured the program’s first KISL title.

Senior Erica Laning shattered the oldest remaining record, breaking the 500-yard girls freestyle record dating back to 1998 with her time of 4:49.81, while also setting a meet record in winning the 100-backstroke [:57.60].

The Hawks celebrated in Allan Jones Aquatic Center on the UT campus after KISL swim finals Saturday night, Jan. 28.

“I wanted to break the [500-free record], that was the plan going into it, because it was the oldest record in the city books,” said Laning, who also won the 500-free as a sophomore and 100-back as a junior. “So I just went for it and lucky I was able to.”

Also breaking a pair of KISL records was junior Carissa Armijo, winning the 200-IM in record time [2:04.68] and the 100-butterfly with a new record [:56.03].

About breaking two meet records, Armijo said, “I was surprised.” She also won the 200-IM last year.

Yet a third Hawks swimmer was a double winner. Sophomore Emily Aycock won the 50-free and 100-free swims.

HVA’s girls 400-free relay and 200-free relay teams also won.

During the diving competition Friday, Jan. 27, “We had three divers scoring and qualifying for the state meet,” HVA head coach Larry Hough said about Ashlyn Ivey, Hannah Ritter and Hunter Bjornstad.. “And we had a lot of very good freshmen that came into the team this year, so now the depth of our roster is better. I think that’s why we scored so many points.”

“We do have some very good quality, but I think our depth is what did it this year,” added Hough, also director of Competitive Swimming for Tennessee Aquatics club team and volunteer coach with UT men’s and women’s teams.

Hough said HVA qualified “either 21 or 22” swimmers and divers combined for the state competition, also in Allan Jones center, Feb. 10-11.

While the Hardin Valley girls “were the stronger of the two” genders according to Hough, “Our boys swam really well too,” he added. “They all performed right where they should have been. That was really big for us.”