SMAC wins Age Group State Championship

Boys and girls teams excel
at Christiansburg meet

The Waynesboro Y Swim Team (SMAC) competed in the Virginia Age Group State Championship Swim Meet this past weekend in Christiansburg, and the SMAC girls won the small team title (teams less than 100 swimmers) for the fourth year in a row, and the boys won the small team title they narrowly missed last year. SMAC won the combined small team title and more than quadrupled their closest competitor (656-149).

The Virginia Age Group State Swimming Championship is open to all 14-and-younger swimmers in Virginia who have achieved a qualifying time. The following 18 SMAC swimmers qualified and competed in the highly competitive meet: Jessie Arnold, Peyton Brooks, Bobby Carey, Alexander Flowers, Jack Fridley, Olivia Heeb, CJ Higdon, Colleen Higgins, Norah Hunt, Caleb Johnson, Hunter McMillon, Jordan Miller, Brazil Rule, Remedy Rule, Savannah Scarbrough, Tate Snyder, Max Tempkin and Gannon Willcutts.

Distance events are swum Thursday evening and then Friday through Sunday swimmers compete in preliminary heats each morning with the top 16 returning to race in the finals every night. SMAC started off the meet Thursday night with a bang with swimmers competing in the distance freestyle events. Brazil Rule and Jordan Miller were seventh and 10th, respectively, in the 11/12 girls – 500 free, while Alexander Flowers finished ninth in the boys 11/12 age group. In the 13/14 girls 1000 free Hunt, Arnold and Remedy Rule finished 13th, third and first. Rule lowered her SMAC record and broke the meet record by 10 seconds. Not to be outdone Higdon came in third in the boys 1000 free and broke his SMAC record by 10 seconds.

Friday swimming started off fast for SMAC with Higgins finishing 13th in the girls 11/12 breast stroke. The SMAC swimmers were strong in the girls 200 free with Brazil Rule and Miller placing 12th and 15th in the 11/12 age group and Arnold and Remedy Rule topping the scoreboard in eighth and first in the 13/14 age group. Rule broke the meet record by 1.5 seconds and lowered her SMAC record. Higdon kept up the strong showing in the 200 free by placing ninth in the boy’s 13/14 age group. The 100 butterfly was also an excellent race for SMAC with Miller placing eighth in the 11/12 age group and Tempkin placing 13th in the boys 13/14 age group.

Rule lowered her team record and lowered the meet record while winning the 100 fly for the girls. To finish the day the SMAC contingent of 10 and under boys (Brooks, Johnson, Snyder and Fridley placed 13th in the 200 medley relay, while the girls 11/12 group of Rule, Higgins, Scarbrough and Miller placed ninth. In the 13/14 age group the SMAC boys (Higdon, Tempkin, Carey and McMillion) placed 13th while the girls 13/14 relay team of Rule, Heeb, Hunt and Arnold highlighted the night with an amazing first place victory over all the larger teams from across the state. In USA age group swimming there are no separations between the sizes of teams during the meet so SMAC is competing against all the teams in Virginia, even those with 5-10 times their number of swimmers.

Saturday races started off with the 10 and under boy’s team of Brooks, Fridley, Snyder and Johnson placing 13th in the 200 free relay. Brooks followed that with a finish of 13th in the 50 fly and the 200 IM. It must have been lucky number 13 for the SMAC 10 and under boys for the day although in the final relay for them they didn’t finish 13th again but, did finish 15th in the 400 free relay.

In the finals of the 11/12 girls age group Rule, Miller, Scarbrough and Higgins finished 12th in the 200 free relay and had a stronger showing in the 400 Medley relay, but were disqualified for an early start. You never like to be DQ’d but at least the girls were being aggressive. Miller dropped a ton of time and finished 9th in the 200fly and Higgins finished 13th in the 100 breast stroke. The 13/14 boys relay of Higdon, McMillion, Carey and Tempkin started of their Saturday with a 13th place in the 200 free relay while the girls team of Rule, Heeb, Hunt and Arnold finished fifth. In the 200 fly Higdon placed 11th for the boys while Hunt placed 13th for the girls. SMAC did not place in the top 16 in the 50 free or 100 breast stroke, but they broke the short drought with Arnold placing 11th and Rule finishing first with a new SMAC, meet and state record in the 100 backstroke with a time of 55.94. The state record was set by Jenna Brick in 2003. The 500 free was an impressive race for the 13/14 age group with Higdon breaking the five-minute barrier and finishing sixth while the girls placed Hunt at 13th, Arnold at fifth and Rule at first with another SMAC and meet record. The girls completed the evening with an impressive second place finish in the 400 medley relay highlighted by Rule smashing her state record (set just an hour earlier) in the 100 back to start the relay.

Sunday racing began with the 10 and under boys 100 back and 50 free. Brooks and Johnson both had personal best times, but finished just out of the top 16. Brooks had another personal best time and finished 15th in the 100 fly to end the meet on a good note for the younger boys. Sunday is the day for the grueling mile, but SMAC showed they were in great shape with Willcutts finishing eighth and Higdon fourth in the boy’s 13/14 age group. The girls were up to the challenge as well with Hunt finishing sixth and Arnold first for the girls. In the finals on Sunday night SMAC showed they could swim fast at the end of a four-day meet by scoring tons of points.

In a USA-sanctioned swim meet, a team scores points if a swimmer or relay team finish in the top 16. The team gets 20 points for first place down to 1 point for 16th place. Higgins got the momentum started Sunday night with an eighth place finish in the 200 breaststroke for the 11/12 girls and Brazil Rule kept it going with a 15th place finish in the 100 back. Miller dropped more time and finished 15th in the 50 fly. The 11/12 girls relay team (Rule, Higgins, Scarbrough and Miller) finished the meet with a fast 400 free relay and a ninth place finish. In the 13/14 age group Arnold and Rule started the night off with impressive swims in the 200 backstroke. Arnold finished fifth and Rule was first with a new SMAC, meet and state record. She became the first 14 and under girl in Virginia to ever break two minutes in the 200 backstroke. She broke the state record held by Darby Chang since 1991. Arnold won the mile earlier in the day, came in fifth in the 200 back and still had stamina to finish ninth in the 100 free, which was right after the 200 backstroke. The last individual event of the evening for the 13/14 girls had Remedy Rule trying for her seventh win and seventh meet record in as many races in the 200 IM. The 200 IM is where you swim 50 yards of each stroke (fly, back, breast then free). She did not disappoint the SMAC faithful crowd when she started off in the lead and never looked back. The SMAC relay team of Rule, Hunt, Heeb and Arnold just narrowly missed winning the 400 free relay, but finished a close second and the boys relay team on Higdon, McMillion, Carey and Tempkin finished strong with an eighth place finish.

Brazil Rule and CJ Higdon have been selected to represent Virginia Swimming in upstate New York later this month when they will swim against the best swimmers from all the Northeast States. Remedy Rule and Jessie Arnold will travel to Florida in early April to represent the Waynesboro Y and SMAC at Y Nationals.

For more information regarding SMAC swimming contact Coach Norm Wright, Director of Competitive Swimming at the Waynesboro Y at 540.942.5107 or email him at normw@smacswimming.org.


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