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Sports · February 22, 2015

Kettle Run boys take fourth in 3A state swim meet

Photo/Lisa Heckathorn
Kettle Run's 200-yard boys freestyle relay team relax before swimming and winning the 3A state meet Friday night in Christiansburg.
Photo/ Lisa Heckathorn
Kettle Run's Nick Fallows at the end of his 100-butterfly race.
Photo/ Lisa Heckathorn
Kettle Run's Katie Heenan in the 200-yard individual medley.
Photo/ Lisa Heckathorn
Fauquier's Christina Cox' fifth-place performance in the girls 100-yard backstroke event.
Photo/ Lisa Heckathorn
Fauquier's Jale Boulter in the boys 100-yard freestyle.
Photo/ Lisa Heckathorn
Liberty's Chuck Crum qualified and placed in two events for the Eagles. Crum was the single swimmer for Liberty at the 4A state meet.
A gold and a silver, I couldn’t be more proud. Watching those boys get ready for the race (200-freestyle relay) and getting motivated before the race and staying focused during it was great to be a part of.
— Kettle Run swimming Coach Angie Smith
Kettle Run’s boys swim team rode its record-breaking 200-yard freestyle relay team victory Friday to a fourth-place showing in the Virginia 3A meet.

Held at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center, 3A swimmers had to share facilities, allowing 4A swimmers into the complex.

That followed a ruling Wednesday morning from Virginia High School League officials because of the mid-week snow storm that hit the New River Valley.

Combined, it made for a longer day and more crowded conditions – especially after an errant fire alarm almost sent wet swimmers outside into the single-digit temps.

“We had just gotten out of warm-ups when the alarm sounded,” Kettle Run Coach Angie Smith said. “Other teams had already started their warm ups when they had everyone find an exit. We didn’t have to leave the building as they were positive it was from the severe cold messing with the alarms.

“But, it was kind of like the icing on the cake for events. Once settled, we started the preliminaries and afterwards, the racing was incredible to say the least.”

Fortunately, no one froze and once back poolside, records began to break.

“This meet was so crazy,” Kettle Run Coach Angie Smith said. “It was a very long day for swimming but we had some really amazing races.”

The Cougar boys scored 176 points – 110 behind leader Hidden Valley and 70 back of Lafayette.

Western Albemarle stood at 209 while John Champe placed fifth with 168 points.

“Finishing fourth as a team just shows losing 20 swimmers last year doesn’t mean you can’t do well,” Coach Smith said.

Henry Patrick, Connor Webb, Aaron Tice and Nick Fallows all survived prelims with each heading to finals with two individual and a pair of relay entries.

Patrick took thirds in the 50-free (22.00) and 100-free (48.52).

Webb, third in the 200-free (144.60) and fourth in the 100-back (53.75).

He broke his own school record in the 200 set at last week’s 3A East regional.

Webb also bettered James Monroe’s Brad Allison’s record (1:44.80) set a year ago but Allison won the event and got the new record of 1:42.88.

Hidden Valley’s Greg Reed also broke the old mark, settling for second.

Tice finished eighth in the 500-free (5:07.36) and took fifth in the consolation finals of the 200 individual medley.

Fallows scored two eighth-place finishes.

He scored a 23.00 in the 50-free and 54.28 in the 100-fly.

Nick Baines qualified for the 100-back consolation final where he finished seventh with a time of 1:01.04.

“Making top-10 at regionals and following up with top-16 at states is a lasting memory,” Coach Smith said of Baines’ performance.

Smith said her two boys relays were “nail-biters”.

Webb, Tice, Fallows and Patrick made up both the 200- and 400-free relays.

Their 200 victory (1:28.63) broke both a school set last year by Webb, Scott Heckathorn, Zack Webb and Patrick and the standing state mark set by York High School last year.

The second-place finish in the 400-relay (3:14.11) also broke the team’s 3:17.99 set last week at regions. It also broke the meet record by the same foursome a year ago in Christiansburg.

Lafayette got the new state record with a time of 3:14.03.

“A gold and a silver, I couldn’t be more proud,” Coach Smith said. “Watching those boys get ready for the race and getting motivated before the race and staying focused during it was great to be a part of.”

The Kettle Run’s girls team placed 12th overall with 80 points.

Western Albemarle won the girls event, totaling 317 points. Cave Spring took second place, 97 points back while Lafayette had 218 points.

Colonial Heights and John Champe tied for fourth with 158 points.

There were 27 boys and girls teams in the meet.

“I really can’t say how proud I am of the girls finishing 12th,” Coach Smith said. They had some very emotional races along with determined racing.”

The Cougar girls had seven girls go through preliminaries and return for the night-time event.

But only its 200-medley relay team made the cut and swam in the championship finals.

Katie Heenan (back), Ally Baccus (breast), Julia Roda (butterfly) and Peyton Helou (freestyle) each swam 50-yards using their specialty stroke.

The relay team finished seventh with a time of 1:56.64.

Heenan scored in two consolation finals, finishing in a tie for first in the 100-back (1:02.47) and sixth in the 200 IM.

Helou finished eighth in the consolation 50-free (25.89) while Roda took a fifth in the consolation 100-fly (1:03.43).

Kettle Run’s other girls relay teams both placed in the consolation finals.

The 200-free, consisting of Helena Nefferdorf, Baccus, Roda and Helou scored a 1:45.12 for a first-place finish (ninth overall).

And Ellyse Suttliff, Kristel Rachocki, Nefferdorf and Heenan produced a time of 4:00.08 to finish third (10th overall) in the 400-free.

“Goal setting was top for my girls,” Coach Smith said. “We met some of the goals we set at the beginning of the season.”

Coach Smith added her team never stopped.

“Kettle Run swimmers worked hard to get here and performed up to that level,” Coach Smith said. “We got to swim against top-level swimmers and against teams twice our size.”

Fauquier sent a nine-member contingent consisting of five girls and four boys to the 4A meet.

Katie Joyce and Jake Boulter again led the Falcons – who qualified every team member for the evening finals or consolation finals.

Joyce placed third in the 100-free (54.50) and fifth in the 50-free (25.10) while Boulter took seventh in the boys 100-free (49.81) and eighth in the 50-free (22.56).

“Katie and Jake had outstanding finals again,” Fauquier Coach Bob Blashill said.

Christiana Cox scored a fifth in the girls 100-back (1:08.95).

“Christina smoked her prelim time by almost two seconds and that’s why she was able to score as well as she did,” Coach Blashill said.

The boys 200-free relay turned in its best season time (1:37.74) when it took sixth in the consolation finals.

Team members included Boulter, Connor Aiken, William Usery and Sean Hardy.

“The boys corrected their mistakes they made in the morning which resulted in a season-best time,” Coach Blashill said.

Joyce, Beth Larkin, Maddie St. Ledger and Kat Creveling took home eighth in the girls 400-free relay (4:03.60).

“Overall, this was the best meet the Falcons have had in a long time,” Coach Blashill said. “It was my pleasure to be a part of it.”

Liberty High School had one boy compete and he placed in both events entered.

Chuck Crum made the consolation finals in the 200- and 500-free with personal bests in both.

He scored seventh (1:55.55) in the 200 and third in the 500 (5:11.10) consolation finals.
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