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Wildcat swimmers off to fast start

POSTED: November 28, 2017 1:56 p.m.
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The Richmond Hill swim team at a recent early morning practice.

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The Richmond Hill swim team took a combined first place overall in their most recent meet, with the boys’ and girls’ teams each finishing second in their respective categories at the Swim Savannah Invite earlier this month.

“I have never been more proud of a group of individuals than I am this year,” Coach Kristin Blanton said. “They have come into this season with big goals and are driven more than ever to achieve them.”

Robby Jones qualified for the state swim meet in the 100 butterfly, taking first in 55.54 seconds, almost three seconds below the qualifying time. Jones also qualified for the state meet earlier in the season in the 500 freestyle, some 15 seconds under the qualifying time, and was just six-tenths of a second off the qualifying time in the 100 backstroke.

Blanton said several swimmers are within seconds of qualifying for the state meet in several events and should hit their goals over the next two months.

Both of the 200 medley relay teams are among those close to qualifying. For the boys, Jones, Harrison Taylor, Logan Duggar and Logan Merry recently swam a 1:53.86. The qualifying time is 1:51.

On the girls’ side, Maddie Patselas, Kat Stigall, Cierra Sims and Esperanza Otero swam a 2:10.42. Qualifying time for that event is 2:07.

The same two teams also finished less than two seconds away from qualifying for the 200 freestyle relay.

The full team roster includes Mitch Brock, Will Griffin, Stella Louis, Kat Hoover, Connor Duckworth, Robert Duckworth, Aneesah Dalal, Rachel Langley, Gavin Pennington, Alexis Sotilleo, Chaeyun Yoo, Jackie Foley, Maddi Zdunich, Hanna Coker, Madyson Purdy, Kaylee Barcley, Lexi Merry, Mackenzie Frei, Ivan Garcia, Vivianne Robitu, Madison Freund, Sarah Cowart, Alexis Mosco, Elise Darrow, Jenny Urso, Whitley Fussell, Elijah Saldana, Ana Rosales, Wyatt Hayes, Jaqlynn Cassady, Lauren Masih, Brena Loveless, Lexi Brooks, Tyler Dunlavy, Logan Brown, Gabriel Howley, Magnus Bamman and Kiara Doi.

That is a dozen more on the team than last season for the third-year program.

“The amount of work they have put in pre-season has really been paying off,” Blanton said. “They have been conditioning and swimming two-a-days. Times are being shaved more, and more points are being earned at our invitationals. I cannot wait to see what the season holds for us.”

The teams next competes in the Cadet Invitational hosted by Benedictine on Dec. 8 at the Savannah Aquatic Center. 

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