It’s the Cov­ing­ton Y by a nose

Fourth straight swim league cham­pi­onship for lo­cal team

The Covington News - - Sports - BRYAN FAZIO bfazio@cov­news.com

For the fourth straight year, the Cov­ing­ton Y won the Rock­dale Swim League. How­ever, Satur­day’s re­sults in­cluded per­sonal wins as coaches around the six­team league were proud of their teams’ over­all and in­di­vid­ual im­prove­ments.

Cov­ing­ton edged the Deer Run Dol­phins by just six points in the Rock­dale Swim League’s County Cham­pi­onship at John­son Park Satur­day, us­ing al­most ev­ery swim­mer to its ad­van­tage in pick­ing up the tight vic­tory.

“It’s never been that close,” said Cov­ing­ton coach and for­mer Mead­ow­brook Mar­lin swim­mer Erin Gor­man.

“You can say it came down to a re­lay or came down to a third-place in­di­vid­ual, cause it was so su­per close, ev­ery race was im­por­tant. Deer Run is great com­pe­ti­tion for us. We love com­pet­ing with them; we have a great friendly re­la­tion­ship with that team; it was fun for it to be so well-matched.”

While ev­ery race was cru­cial, Gor­man pointed out two that helped clinch it, and two that showed the spirit of the Rock­dale Swim League.

Cov­ing­ton’s 9 and 12 boys’ re­lay team was made up of ath­letes who just swim dur­ing the sum­mer and don’t com- pete year round. That didn’t stop the four­some of Nick Mitchell, Liam Am­man, Russ Dol­lar

and Michael Craig, who won the 100-yard freestyle re­lay in a time of 1:18 and the 100 med­ley in a time of 1:35.

Also fin­ish­ing out the 2013 sum­mer sea­son with a suc­cess­ful meet was Miah Bul­lock, who dropped 10 sec­onds off her per­sonal best in the 50-yard freestyle, fin­ish­ing 17th in a time of 53.58.

“You don’t have to win against other kids to be suc­cess­ful,” Gor­man said. “It’s all about beat­ing your own per­sonal best times. We had a lot of kids who swam their best times at county. (Miah) didn’t win but that didn’t mat­ter; she im­proved so much. That was a re­ally spe­cial mo­ment.”

Im­prove­ment also played a key role in Deer Run’s sea­son as it started in the sec­ond meet and con­tin­ued to the sev­enth and fi­nal at John­son Park Satur­day.

“My phi­los­o­phy has al­ways been im­prove­ment,” Deer Run coach Tay­lor Hor­ton said.

“This year, with a lot of new kids, we put a lot of em­pha­sis on mak­ing sure they im­proved with each stroke, week in and week out. They were just ded­i­cated this year. I was proud of each and ev­ery one of them, new and re­turn­ing swim­mers.

“For sum­mer league swim­ming, my main fo­cus is on swim­mers. As long as they progress and have fun, that’s No. 1 in my book. Win­ning is nice but it’s more about pro­gres­sion.”

The third-place Brent­wood Bar­racu­das were also im­pres­sive Satur­day, as more than half the squad was new to the league, with a lot of be­gin­ning swim­mers.

“We have a lot more swim­mers this year than we have ever had be­fore,” said Dawn Lane, Brent­wood coach.

“We al­most dou­bled in size this year, but we have a lot of ab­so­lute be­gin­ners. Most of th­ese kids have just learned their strokes.”

Brent­wood’s James Lane and De­laney Wil­lette fin­ished as top swim­mers in the 11-12 age group, along with Deer Run’s Dax Wil­lette, Da­mani Young and Brit­tany Ma­jor, along with Jade McPike of Brent­wood in the 13-14 age group and Sara Jean Lane of Brent­wood and Joey Ell­wanger and Jack Mitchell of Cov­ing­ton in the 15-18 age group.

The top eight fin­ish­ers in each event ad­vanced to the dis­trict meet at the Mor­gan County Aquat­ics Cen­ter July 6.

Of the Rock­dale Swim League’s 91 rep­re­sen­ta­tive, 34 dis­trict swim­mers come from Cov­ing­ton, in­clud­ing first-timer Nick­o­las Bugera — one of four first-time dis­trict plac­ers for the Y.

“We just have re­ally ded­i­cated swim­mers who love the sport,” Gor­man said.

Dar­rell Everidge /The Cov­ing­ton News

All six teams in the Rock­dale Swim League com­peted in the County Cham­pi­onship meet at John­son Park Satur­day, with the Cov­ing­ton Y com­ing out on top for the fourth straight year.

Dar­rell Everidge /The Cov­ing­ton News

Many in­di­vid­ual swim­mers posted per­sonal best times at John­son Park Satur­day, and the top eight fin­ish­ers from each event earned a spot in the dis­trict meet at Mor­gan County Satur­day.

Dar­rell Everidge /The Cov­ing­ton News

“You don’t have to win against other kids to be suc­cess­ful,” Gor­man said. “It’s all about beat­ing your own per­sonal best times.

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