BHS swimmers battle illness, still finish second

It says a lot about a program if, on a night when a number of its swimmers are ailing, they[more] still finish second in a 14-team or 16-team meet. According to head coach Angel Dale, a “stomach bug” ravaged the team at their invitational meet at the Bishop Park Aquatic Center Thursday night. The Lady Hornets still wound up second only to Cabot in the team standings while the Hornets finished second to just Little Rock Catholic.

“It was a tough night,” Dale said. “My kids apparently caught the bug from Tuesday night's meet. We were dropping like flies.”

On Tuesday, the team had competed in a sprint meet at UALR.

In Thursday’s meet, Cabot won girls team honors with 241 points. Bryant had 194 with Magnolia third at 139 followed by Vilonia (108), Hot Springs Lakeside (102), Lake Hamilton (100), Fort Smith Southside (96), Benton (88), Russellville (59), Little Rock Christian (46), Alma (32), Camden Fairview (28), Arkadelphia (26) and Waldron (3).

For the boys, Catholic accumulated 339 points to Bryant’s 182. Southside was third at 153 with Russellville fourth with 129. Benton was fifth at 119 followed by Cabot (82.5), Magnolia (82), Arkansas Baptist (57.5), Arkadelphia (55), Little Rock Christian (31), Pottsville (25), Camden Fairview (23), Mulberry (16), Lonoke (10), Lakeside (8) and Vilonia (5).

The Lady Hornets were led by Lindsey Butler and the Hornets by Minki Kang. Both had a pair of first-place finishes. Kaitlin Howey added first-place points in the girls 1-meter dive competition.

Butler won the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:24.06 and the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:02.44.

Kang won the boys 200 IM with a time of 2:02.07 as well as the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:40.34.

Howey’s dive score was 84.55. Teammate Megan Curry was second at 68.55.

The Lady Hornets were second in the 200 free relay with Butler anchoring behind Katie Higgs, Reagan Smith and Kalee Jackson. The team finished in 1:52.81 just behind the winning time of the Cabot team of Riley Young, Aeriel Lane, Jessie Baldwin and Caytee Wright (1:48.56).

The same Bryant quartet turned in a third-place finish in the 200 medley relay, with a time of 2:06.49.

Individually, Higgs took third in the 100 butterfly (1:07.03) and finished eighth in the 100 breast stroke at 1:25.79.

Jackson placed fourth in the 200 IM with a time of 2:40.99 and fifth in the 500 free (6:22.74).

Smith contributed a 12-place finish in the 200 IM at 3:01.58, while teammate Bailey Peairson placed 10th in 2:57.29. Peairson was also 11th in the 100 free with a time of 1:10.27.

The Lady Hornets had four swimmers score in the 200 free, led by Devin Hester’s 2:39.69, good for seventh. Courtney Wells was ninth in 2:31.81 followed by Mollie Robinson (10th, 2:41.23) and Catarena Falco (12th, 2:56.27).

Hester added a 12th-place point in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:27.02, just behind teammate Julianna Shelton (11th, 1:22.90). Shelton was also seventh in the 100 back, turning in a time of 1:23.10, with Robinson 12th in 1:27.77.

Falco was eighth (7:48.20) and Jordan Tarvin ninth (7:49.90) in the 500 free. Libby Thompson added points in both the 100 breast and the 50 free. In the former, she was 10th in 1:26.37. In the latter, she turned in a 30.11 to finish 12th.

For the boys, Kang joined added a leg to a pair of relay teams. He joined Nick Hoffpauir, Trace Rhode and Ray Weldon on a third-place effort in the 400 free, posting a time of 3:53.45.

Weldon, Kang and Rhode joined forces with Casey Ball to turn in a 1:52.97, good for fourth in the 200 medley relay. In the 200 free relay, Hoffpauir combined with Justin Combs, Jim Dellorto and Andrew Ball on a 1:59.93, good for sixth.

Combs led a contingent of Hornets who scored in the one-meter dive. His score of 159.25 was good for second place with Lucas Reitenger fourth (129.70), Justin Savage sixth (105.15) and Scott Mead seventh (94.20).

Rhode turned n a 2:29.77 to take eighth in the 200 IM. He was also seventh in the 500 free with a time of 5:55.89.

Weldon took seventh in the 100 breast with a 1:18.23 clocking. He was ninth in the 200 IM (2:31.01).

Dellorto added seventh-place points in the 100 butterfly, finishing in 1:07.28. Andrew Ball added a ninth-place finish in the 100 breast (1:19.76) while Qualls contributed points in the 500 free (ninth, 7:14.41) and the 200 free (2:31.16).

Ryan West was 10th in the 200 free (2:30.01) and Hoffpauir 12th in the 200 IM (2:56.83).

In the sprint event held at UALR, Kang won the 50 free in 22.72, touching just ahead of Caleb Hathaway of Central Arkansas Christian at 22.73.

Butler finished fractions behind Jessie Garrison of Mills in the girls 50 free. Garrison finished in 25.20, Butler in 25.88.

The same pair were first and second in both the boys and girls 100. Kang turned in a 49.78 and Hathaway finished in 50.85. Garrison turned in a 55.08 to edge Butler again (57.92).

Higgs was the Lady Hornets’ second finisher in the 100. Her 1:03.50 was good for eighth. Jackson finished 10th in 1:05.19 and Shelton was 15th in 1:08.57.
Smith and Peairson also finished in the top 20. Smith finished in 18th at 1:10.24 while Peairson took 20th in 1:11.06.

In the 50, Higgs was sixth overall at 27.74 with Jackson 10th in 28.71. Thompson (12th, 30.05), Smith (13th, 30.60), Sarah White (18th, 31.06) and Shelton (20th, 31.42) completed the Lady Hornets’ top 20 finishers.

For the boys, Casey Ball was second in the 100, finishing 16th overall in a time of 58.24. Rhode just missed the top 20, placing 21st in 59.49. In the 50, Casey Ball was 20th in 25.93.

In diving competition at the meet, Howey was second and Curry third among the girls. Combs, Reitenger, Matt Mead, Scott Mead and Savage finished second through sixth for the Hornets.

Thursday’s meet was the last pre-Christmas event for the BHS team. They’ll host a meet on Jan. 10 for their next outing.

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