Photos courtesy of Jamie Hester
With three individual winners and first place finishes in two relays, the Bryant Hornets showed they were back to full strength on Thursday, capturing the team title at the Benton Invitational swimming and diving meet at the Bishop Park Aquatic Center.
The Hornets accumulated 454 points to out-distance the 14-team field. Magnolia was second at 348, followed by Conway (216), Benton (161) and Little Rock Parkview (135).
Justin Combs, Trace Rhode and Chandler Reep each won individual events. Combs won the one-meter dive with a score of 139.00. Rhode won the 500 yard freestyle with a time of 5:37.01. Reep paced the field in the 100 yard breast stroke with a time of 1:05.44.
Rhode led a sweep of the top three spots in the 500. Kyle Henry was second in 5:50.21 with Jacob Rhode third in 6:03.01.
In the dive competition, Lucas Reitenger joined Combs in the scoring for the Hornets, taking third with a score of 114.15.
Following Reep was Fonzee Bittle who was third in 1:09.92, Andrew Ball (10th, 1:20.85) and John Dellorto (12th, 1:35.56).
The Hornets’ quartet of Ray Weldon, Reep, Michael Higgs and Bittle won the 200 medley relay in a time of 1:48.13. In the 200 free relay, it was Ball joining Reep, Bittle and Higgs on a winning time of 1:37.75.
The 400 relay team of Weldon, Ball, Kyle Henry and Trace Rhode was second in 3:79.08, just touching behind only Magnolia’s team of Charlie Taylor, Bijan Dadgar, Aaron Hartsfield and Grady Jennings. They finished in 3:46.22
Higgs just missed winning a pair of events. In the 200 individual medley, his 2:09.47 was right behind Benton’s Garrett Sullivan who clocked in at 2:08.45. Weldon was third in 2:12.39 with Ball sixth (2:38.04) and John Dellorto ninth (3:03.60).
Higgs turned in a 56.75 in the 100 yard butterfly, which was just short of the winning time of 55.88 posted by Taylor of Magnolia. Reep and Bittle also scored in the fly. Reep was eighth in 1:03.66 with Bittle ninth in 1:04.91.
Four Hornets scored in the 100 yard backstroke paced by Derek Vos who was fifth in 1:14.24. Trace Rhode was sixth with a 1:15.52 clocking followed by James Dellorto (seventh, 1:16.97) and Druid Wen (ninth, 1:25.61).
Henry led a trio of scoring Hornets in the 200 free. He was fourth in 2:04.61 with Jacob Rhode ninth (2:20.46) and Wen 14th (2:46.05).
Weldon also led a three-man scoring contingent in the 100 free. He was fourth in 54.50 with James Dellorto 11th in 58.80 and Vos 15th in 1:01.31.
The Hornets picked up points in the 50 free as well. Reitenger was 11th in 26.20 and Wilhelm Wubbena was 13th in 26.96.
Bryant is set for its final regular-season meet this Saturday at UALR. The South District meet is set for Friday, Feb. 13, at Bishop Park.