Combs, Higgs pace Bryant boys in first outing

Photos courtesy of Julia

Justin Combs (Photo courtesy of Julia Combs)

Justin Combs (Photo courtesy of Julia Combs)

Combs and Jamie Hester

Behind strong performances in all three relays and a second-place finishes by Michael Higgs and Justin Combs, the Bryant Hornets opened the 2014-15 swimming and diving season by tying for second place in the 13-team meet held at the Bishop Park aquatic center on Thursday.

Conway won the meet with 357 points. Bryant and Magnolia each had 315 with Cabot fourth at 304. Benton was a distant fifth at 144.

Combs, the Hornets’ senior diver, earned a score of 158.10 to finish behind only Pulaski Academy’s Patrik Rollefson (159.95) in the one-meter dive competition.

Higgs, a freshman, turned in a 2:12.40 to take second in the 200 individual medley on the heels of Cabot’s Payton Jones (2:10.32). In addition, Higgs was fourth in the 100 yard butterfly with a time of 58.89 and he contributed a leg to the Hornets’ second place entry in the 200 freestyle relay. He, Fonzee Bittle, Jim Dellorto and Andrew Ball combined on a 1:40.14 to tie for second with Magnolia. Cabot won the event in 1:38.52.

Jake Partain (photo courtesy of Jamie Hester)

Jake Partain (photo courtesy of Jamie Hester)

Trace Rhode, Jake Partain, Derek Vos and Dellorto teamed up in the 400 free relay, taking third in 4:15.43. In the 200 medley relay, Rhode, Ball, Higgs and Bittle combined on a 1:56.70 to place fourth.

Rhode, along with his younger brother Jacob, picked up third- and fourth-place finishes in the 500 free. Trace turned in a 5:41.66 clocking with Jacob touching in 5:53.97. The elder Rhode added an eighth in the 100 butterfly in 1:04.97 with the younger brother taking seventh in the 200 IM (2:32.88), with Dellorto eighth in 2:37.92.

Lucas Reitenger (Photo courtesy of Julia Combs)

Lucas Reitenger (Photo courtesy of Julia Combs)

Bittle was sixth and Ball seventh in the 100 breast stroke. Bittle finished in 1:14.21 with Ball at 1:18.31 and Zach Milam placing 12th in 1:23.34 to add to the point total.

Ball was also seventh in the 50 free (25.01). Bittle added ninth-place points in the 100 butterfly (1:04.97).

Lucas Reitenger contributed a sixth-place performance in the one-meter dive with a score of 97.30. He was also 15th in the 50 free at 27.18. Jim Dellorto was 12th in the 100 fly (1:11.33).

The Hornets picked up points from four swimmers in the 200 free led by Derek Vos who was eighth in 2:25.59. Milam was 11th (2:47.38), Dru Wen 13th (2:50.09) and Wilhelm Wubbena 14th (2:59.16).

A trio of Bryant swimmers scored in the 100 back stroke. Vos was 12th in 1:14.02 followed by John Dellorto (15th, 1:37.13) and Partain (16th, 1:37.20).

The Hornets are set to return to competition on Thursday, Nov. 20, at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia.

Michael Higgs (Photo courtesy of Jamie Hester)

Michael Higgs (Photo courtesy of Jamie Hester)

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