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The Campbellsville and Taylor County High School swim teams completed their season Feb. 6-7 at the Region 3 Swim Championship at Falling Springs Recreation Center in Versailles.
Head coach Steve Doss said he is extremely pleased with the overall performance of each of the young squads.
"At our initial meeting of the year at Taylor County High School, there were a large number of students interested in swimming. I guess you can say we were benefiting from what's called the Olympic bounce."
For Campbellsville, the reaction was equally the same. After not having a team since all-state swimmer and All-American at Centre College Meredith Angel graduated, Campbellsville had five swimmers competing on the year.
The season began with what has become an annual event for the teams at Ft. Knox. The format was shorter events than a typical meet. Doss stated it was good for so many who have never been to or competed in a swim meet to be exposed to the outright competition but without having to swim standard distances.
"Swimmers had been training for about one month at the time of competition," Doss said. "It is also a good place to see what the swimmers need to work on the most."
Doss stated he has been very appreciative of Campbellsville University women's swim coach Lindsay Hines and athletics director Rusty Hollingsworth for the use of the pool with the upgrades this year of new starting/dive blocks and upgraded locker rooms.
Other meets this year included the Marion County Dual Meet on Jan. 15 with Nelson County.
Some of the highlights from this meet for Taylor County girls were: sixth-grader Meredith Johnson, fourth overall in the 50 free with a time of 32.71; junior Becca Johnston, seventh overall in the 50 free (33.58); and sophomore Melissa Dillery, eighth overall in the 50 free (33.94).
In the girls' 100 free, two first-year swimmers, Shelby Barnett (sixth grade) and Kaitlyn Woodrum (sophomore), finished eighth and ninth with times of 1:28.48 and 1:29.88, respectively.
On the boys' side, junior Trent Corbin finishing second overall in the 50 free (30.12) and a couple of first-year swimmers, freshmen Nathan Irwin and Logan Grant, were fifth and sixth overall with times of 31.75 and 32.52, respectively.
One of the biggest performances came in the boys' 100 free event where Taylor County finished third (Corbin, 1:13.31), fifth (freshman Nick VanMeter, 1:19.56), sixth (freshman and first-year swimmer Phillip Lawson, 1:20.61), seventh (Irwin, 1:20.77), eighth (Grant, 1:21.55) and ninth (sophomore Lake Salsbury, 1:25.33).
For Campbellsville, all first year swimmers established personal records for their respective events.
In the girls' 50 free, fifth-graders Kathryn Doss and Grace Begley finished first and second in their heats with times of 41.29 and 43.65, respectively.
In the girls' 100, Begley edged Doss out of the top spot in the heat with a time of 1:39.15 vs. 1:39.82.
For Campbellsville boys in the 50 free, seventh-graders Nathan Riggs and Hayden McCubbin competed in 40.44 and 42.42 and sixth-grader Chris Milby rounded out the event with a personal record of 43 flat.
In the 100 free, it was McCubbin finishing in 1:41.33 and Milby at 1:44.22.
The final regular-season meet came just after the big ice storm when the teams ventured to Lexington to swim at Transylvania University against Lexington Christian Academy and Lexington Sayre on Jan. 31.
"These are two very competitive teams that are not in our region," Doss said. "The coach for LCA and I swam for Hopkinsville High School many years ago and communicated our desires to hold this meet between our teams.
"It was a tough week leading up to the meet. School was out and travel to the pool for some was difficult, but we made the best of our time as we could."
At regions, 24 teams with 300-plus competitors attended, which means that not every swimmer can swim (only four swimmers per team per individual event can swim and only one relay team per team per relay event can compete).
"I do allow each swimmer to attend the regional competition, just to get a taste of this energizing event," Doss said.
Taylor County swimmers at regionals were girls' Shelby Barnett, Caitlin Boils, Hannah Brockman, Samantha Clark, Melissa Dillery, Brittany Goode, Meredith Johnson, Becca Johnston, Morgan Willis and Kaitlin Woodrum and boys' Trent Corbin, Nathan Irwin, Philip Lawson and Nick VanMeter.
Campbellsville's entire team of Kathryn Doss, Grace Begley, Hayden McCubbin, Chris Milby and Nathan Riggs also competed.
The meet had many highlights and personal records, but the most notable was the TC boys' 4x100 freestyle relay of Corbin, VanMeter, Irwin and Lawson finishing 12th overall (5:10.10).
"With this being a young relay team, they will get better and should be even more competitive next year," Doss said.
In the girls' 50 free, personal bests were set by TC's Johnson (32.23), Clark (34.38) and Woodrum (35.40).
For the TC boys, Corbin went a 29.42 and Irwin a 31.12.
In the 100 free event, TC girl swimmer Becca Johnston exploded with a 1:11.80, the fastest time in many years by a TC swimmer. Clark also set a personal record in the 100 going 1:23.47.
The girls' 200 freestyle Relay also finished a respectable 16th overall. The team of Johnson, Brockman, Dillery and Johnston garnered another fastest school time for TC going 2:13.32.
In the remaining events for TC boys were: 100 free with Corbin finishing with another school-best of 1:07.83, VanMeter in 1:13.47 and Lawson in 1:18.84.
The TC boys' 200 free relay (Corbin, VanMeter, Irwin and Lawson) also competed favorably in 2:05.41, finishing overall in 13th position, just out of the points.
On the Campbellsville side, the girls' 50 free event provided the fastest times to date for both Doss and Begley, with Doss going 35.50 and finishing first in her heat and Begley clocking a 38.38 for third.
For the boys' 50 free event, McCubbin smashed his previous best by going 37.31, Riggs completing the distance in 40.55 and Milby in 41.26.
In the 100 free, Doss and Begley were not done as they set another pair of personal records of 1:27.32 and 1:34.77, respectively.
For the swimming Eagles' final event in the boys 100 free, McCubbin was not done either, going 1:31.54 and finishing first in the heat and Riggs completing it in 1:33.35.
"What a great year to build on," Doss stated. "I am very pleased with the success we had, the personal records obtained by every swimmer and the opportunity for the future of Taylor County and Campbellsville swim programs."
The season concluded with the swim banquet on Feb. 26 at the CU Dining Hall. Letters and awards were presented.