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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Highlands Swim and Dive Team Has Banner Year

The 2015-2016 HHS Swim and Dive Team. 
By David Ketcham 

Highlands High School Boys and Girls swim team has had several accomplishments as well as ongoing ones throughout this season. Earlier in the season, the Girls Team beat two Cincinnati schools, Anderson High School and Oak Hills High School, for the 6th straight year. The team was the Scott Eagle Classic Combined Team Champion for the first time in over 10 years, also winning the NKAC Division I Combined Team Championship.

The Boys Team was the NKAC Division I Runner-up for the first time in over 10 years.   The Combined Team won its fifth straight Region 7 Combined Team Championship.  The boys were the Region’s 7th Runner-up, a first in 10 years.   At the State Meet, the team had six Top 8 finishers and nine Top 16 finishers.  The Combined Team finished 12th and the Boys and Girls Teams finished 14th.

Five school records were also broken this year.  Senior Owen Downard swam a 47.37 in the 100 Freestyle, breaking Ben Fowler’s 1995 record of 47.38. “Doing this made me very happy, knowing that I’m leaving on a good note,” he said.

Owen Downward won the 2016 Dr. Mark Lynn & Associates Academic Scholarship, worth $500. 

Eighth grader Caroline Sand swam a 24.58 in the 50 Freestyle breaking Angela Barre’s record of 24.91 set back in 1998.   Junior Beth Ann Griffith swam a 52.98 in the 100 Freestyle breaking her own record of 53.30 set last year at the State Meet.  The Girls 200 Free Relay Team of Beth Ann Griffith, Bailey Fessler, Caroline Sand, and Shelby Whitt swam a 1:39.23 breaking the old record of 1:40.92 set last year at the State Meet.   The Girls 400 Free Relay of the same four swimmers swam a 3:37.82 breaking the old record of 3:40.72 which was also set last year at State.

“I think that all of these accomplishments are outstanding!   In addition to winning so many awards, the team also excelled in the areas of sportsmanship and becoming well-rounded student-athletes.  Ultimately, that is what is most important.   The seniors had a very successful year to close out their last high school season.  The underclassmen gained valuable experience that will help them excel as individuals and continue to build the future,” says Highlands Swim Coach, Amanda Johnson, who is very excited for the upcoming season.

The team had 33 boys on the roster this year and more to come.   On the Girls side, the loss of 5 valuable senior girls are at loss.

Senior swimmer Natalie Wilson has approached the end of her swimming career and hopes the best for her young swimming acquaintances saying, “to the younger swimmers, I would just say enjoy it because it’s over before you know it and not worth stressing over the little things. Work hard, practice, and you’ll be happy with your results!”

The 2015-2016 Seniors
As for for the future that is Highlands High School swim team, there are many girls and boys who are on the horizon and and coach is ready to see all the accomplishments within the years to come.


Highlands boys

Brendan Conley: 20th in 200 free (1:50.57), 24th in 500 free (5:00.57), Owen Downard: 9th in 50 free (21.59), 8th in 100 free (47.50), Jake Hoarston: 21st in diving (119.25), Finn Murphy: 7th in diving (353.25), Greyson Pendery: 29th in 200 IM (2:01.68), 24th in 100 back (56.04), 200 medley relay: 13th (1:41.94) – Pendery, Brown, Conley, Downard, 200 free relay: 19th (1:35.56) – Spencer Manyet, Matthew Lorenz, Tyler Brown, Tyler Bracken, 400 free relay: 11th (3:21.09) – Bracken, Conley, Pendery, Downard.

Highlands girls

Lily Banks: 21st in 500 free (5:17.05), 22nd in 100 back (1:01.36), Mallory Beach: 33rd in 200 IM (2:18.85), 23rd in 100 breast (1:10.14), Bailey Fessler: 26th in 50 free (25.67), 23rd in 100 free (55.43), Madeline Huber: 24th in 200 free (1:58.86), Katherine Redden: 23rd in 200 IM (2:13.99), Caroline Sand: 25th in 50 free (25.57), 22nd in 500 free (5:17.98), Shelby Whitt: 14th in 200 IM (2:09.91), 18th in 500 free (5:15.66), 200 free relay: 8th (1:40.51) – Huber, Fessler, Sand, Whitt, 400 free relay: 11th (3:39.10) – Huber, Fessler, Sand, Whitt

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