Photos courtesy of Jamie Hester and Marianne Shelton
The Bryant Hornets’ 400 yard freestyle relay team of Chandler Reep, Kyle Henry, Trace Rhode and Michael Higgs turned in a State qualifying time of 3:39.64 to highlight Thursday’s 12-team swimming and diving meet at the Bishop Park Aquatic Center.
That was good for a second-place finish behind only the Little Rock Catholic quartet of Mark Moellers, Chase Peterson, Chris Harrison and Jacob Toland, who combined on a 3:37.30 clocking.
And that’s the way the meet went. Catholic’s Rockets used their depth to pile up 468.5 points with the Hornets second with 334.5. Magnolia was third with 220 followed by Rogers Heritage (160) and Russellville (156) to complete the top five.
It was the first competition for Bryant since Dec. 4. They swim again at the Hendrix University in Conway, Jan. 23-24.
“The Hornet swimmers showed up and did an great job,” said Bryant coach Angel Dale. “We improved in many places including our relays. We qualified the 400-yard freestyle relay which was a big goal for us. We were just out-touched in the 200-yard Medley Relay by Catholic.”
Ray Weldon, Reep, Higgs and Andrew Ball combined on the 1:46.80 that was just short of Catholic’s 1:46.32 turned in by the quartet of Chase Petersen, Connor Griffin, Braden Gentry and Matthew Noonan.
The Hornets also got second-place points from Justin Combs in the one-meter dive with a score of 174.20. Lucas Reitenger was fourth at 121.60.
Bryant finished third in four events. In the 200 freestyle relay, it was Ball, Henry, Fonzee Bittle and Weldon with a time of 1:40.36.
Higgs produced two of the third-place efforts. In the 100 yard breast stroke, he finish in 1:07.61 with Ball eighth (1:17.29) and Wilhelm Wubbena 14th (1:25.15). In the 100 butterfly, Higgs turned in a 57.78 clocking with Bittle ninth (1:06.81) and Henry 12th (1:10.52).
Weldon was third in the 100 backstroke in a time of 1:00.86. Reep was fourth in a time of 1:02.91 followed by Derek Vos (9th, 1:12.52) and Dru Wen (11th, 1:24.46).
Trace Rhode was fifth in two events. His 2:24.57 was fifth in the 200 individual medley with Jim Dellorto seventh in 2:34.84 and Jacob Rhode 10th in 2:41.14.
He was fifth in the 500 free with a time of 5:42.33. Henry was sixth (5:51.09), Bittle seventh (6:06.88) and Jacob Rhode eighth (6:13.23).
Ball scored in the 200 free, finishing 11th in 2:10.37. Vos was 15th in the 100 free (1:00.77) and Reitenger 16th in the 50 free (26.80).