|Bluebirds Win First Two Meets|
|Contributed Photo. The Highlands Swimming and Diving Teams hold up all three trophies from the Eastern Kentucky Relay Meet on Dec. 9. The Highlands teams have won both meets so far this season.|
The Highlands swim teams captured all three titles at the 15-team Eastern Kentucky University Relay Meet on Dec. 9. The Highlands boys scored 296 beating second-place Scott County by six points and the girls scored 294 beating runner-up Sacred Heart by 52 points. Highlands scored a Combined 624 points. Runner-up Scott County scored 564.
Then on Dec. 16, the Highlands swimming and diving teams won the tri-meet at Cincinnati Anderson. The Highlands boys scored 142 points beating Anderson (97 points) and Cincinnati Elder (80) and the girls scored 136 beating both Cincinnati Seton (115) and Anderson (77). Highlands Head Swim Coach Amanda Johnson said that's the first time in her eight years that both teams won that tri-meet.
"They swam very well," Johnson said. "We took the majority of our team up there. You can score A and B relays at that meet so to have depth really makes a difference. We also had a lot of wins at that meet. In the middle of the season, that's very encouraging. You may not swim your best time, but it's good to score points for the team."
Johnson noted this is one of those rare seasons where there are more boys with 31 compared to 29 for the girls. The high numbers give the team depth to score in relays, individual swims and diving events. The boys graduated two seniors from last year in Greyson Pendery and Jake Horston while the girls graduated some talent from last year such as swimmer Beth Ann Griffith and diver Abby Weyer.
Garrison Herfel. He sat out last year after transferring from Cincinnati Summit Country Day. Herfel is one of three seniors on the team along with Chas Sand and Davis Guthier. Junior Brendan Conley is also expected to contribute this year.
"As boys get older, they get bigger, stronger, faster," Johnson said. "We still have young swimmers, but our team is getting older and faster. That just says a lot for the depth."
The Bluebird boys have a number of younger divers expected to contribute this year. They are sophomores David Herfel, Tyler Brown, freshmen Jack Banks, Mack Russell, Will Griffith and seventh-graders Sam Hopper and Matt Herfel.
Both sides have talented divers, which is key because some teams don't have divers. Sophomore Finn Murphy returns after finishing state runner-up in the state in the one-meter diving event last year with 389.35 points. Freshman Lauren Groeschen leads the Highlands girls divers.
Highlands has a new diving coach this year in Bernie Brungs. He takes over for longtime diving coach Jen Rehberger.
The Highlands girls have one senior in Savannah Brady and one junior in Olivia Hopper.
One of the leading returning swimmers is sophomore Caroline Sand. Caroline Sand finished second in both the 50-Meter Freestyle race in 24.45 seconds and 500 Freestyle race in five minutes, 2.94 seconds in the Region 7 Meet last year.
"Savannah and I both like to include the younger middle schoolers especially into team activities and such just like the senior boys," Hopper said. "We like to make sure that they feel like they are part of the team even though technically, they are not in high school yet."
The girls also have a number of talented swimmers ready to contribute. They are sophomore Rachel Moscona, freshman Sarah Redden and eighth-grader Evia Combs.
|Call Ashley Barlow, a HHS swim alum. 781-5777. This is an advertisement.|
The next big meet for Highlands involving just the swim teams is Jan. 6. The teams swim in the Scott Eagle Swim Classic starting at 10 a.m.