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This year the Galax Riptide Capped of a great season at the annual Blue Ridge Swim Conference swim meet in Mt. Airy, N.C. The team finished with 1166 points to finish second to the Elkin Wet Lightening’ 2139.5. Finishing a close third only four points behind the Riptide were the Reeves Rapids with a score of 1162, followed by the Dobson Dolphins (1006.5), the AquaTechs of Wilkesboro (638), the Wytheville Waves (631) Carroll Wellness Center Tigersharks (590).
Local standout swimmers winning gold medals this year were Hajar Morsy of Galax in the 9-10 girls’ 100 individual medley, Habeba Morsy of Galax in the 7-8 girls’ 25 freestyle, Forrest Webb of Carroll in the 9-10 boys’ 25 freestyle, Rawan Morsy of Galax in the 11-12 50 girls’ freestyle, Abdol Morsy of Galax in the 13-14 boys 50 freestyle, Jackson Nester of Carroll in the 10 and under 50 freestyle, Hajar Morsy of Galax in the 9-10 girls’ 50 breaststroke, Julian Elmasry of Carroll in the 13-14 boys’ breaststroke, Mia Llamas of Galax in the 7-8 girls’ 25 backstroke, Habeba Morsy of Galax in the 7-8 girls’ butterfly, Hajar Morsy of Galax in the 9-10 girls’ 25 butterfly and Olivia Bolen of Carroll in the 15-18 girls’ 50 butterfly.
Winning silver medals this year were Jackson Nester of Carroll in the 9-10 boys’ 100 IM, Abdol Morsy of Galax in the 13-14 boys’ 100 IM and 50 butterfly, Olivia Bolen of Carroll in the 15-18 girls’ 50 freestyle and 50 backstroke, Rawan Morsy of Galax in the 11-14 girls’ 100 freestyle, Sophia Haga of Galax in the 9-10 girls’ 25 backstroke and 25 butterfly, Tate Haga of Galax in the 13-14 boys’ 50 backstroke and Forrest Webb of Carroll in the boys’ 9-10 25 butterfly.
Winning bronze medals were Mia Llamas of Galax in the 8-under girls’ 100 IM, Sarah Elmasry of Carroll in the 10-under 50 freestyle, Natalie Harris in the 6-under girls’ 25 breaststroke, Neveah Blackburn in the 7-8 girls’ breaststroke, Jackson Nester in the 9-10 boys’ 25 butterfly, Jack Haga in the boys’ 11-12 butterfly and Conor Mabe in the 15-18 boys’ 50 butterfly.
Winning relay gold in the girls’ 7-8 100 freestyle was the team of Mia Llamas, Peyton Edwards, Neveah Blackburn and Habeba Morsy. Winning gold in the in the girls’ 7-8 100 medley relay, breaking a meet record with a time of 1:35.04 were Meveah Blackburn (backstroke), Rylee Goodman (breaststroke), Habeba Morsy (butterfly), and Mia Llamas (freestyle).
“This relay is full of great talent,” Galax coach Trace Lumpkin said. “They are a great group of girls. You can swap them in and out on their strokes it really doesn’t matter who is swimming what, they are just fast. I don’t think they lost all summer. They all are a joy to coach. All the kids on my team are. I just love them all.” Also winning gold was the Carroll boys’ 9-10 100 medley relay team of Gabriel Robertson Jackson Nester, Forrest Webb, Kaleb Payne.
Silver medal-winning relay teams included Galax 6-under 100 freestyle (Kayla Archer, Abi Smith, Phoebe Fant, Emily Edwards), Galax 9-10 girls’ 100 freestyle (Morgan Nichols, Hajar Morsy, Sidney Dillon, Sophia Haga), Carroll boys’ 9-10 100 freestyle (Jackson Nester, Kaleb Payne, Gabriel Robertson, Forrest Webb), Galax 11-12 girls’ 200 freestyle (Clair Hankins, Mimi Pemberton, Savanna Lumpkin, Rawan Morsy) and the Galax 11-12 boys’ 200 medley (Luke Morris, Andrew Jordan, Jack Haga, John Cox).
Winning relay bronze were the Galax 11-12 boys’ 200 freestyle (Andrew Jordan, John Cox, Luke Morris, Jack Haga), Galax 13-14 girls’ 200 freestyle (Chassney Hodge, Emma Morris, Hannah Smith, Suzanna Isom), Galax 13-14 boys’ 200 freestyle (Jared Cochran, Tate Haga, Chandler McChesney, Abdol Morsy) Galax 13-14 boys’ 200 medley (Jared Cochran, Chandler McChesney, Abdol Morsy, Tate Haga), and Galax 15-18 boys’ medley (David Cox, Andrew Hennis, Ian Isom, Austin Lumpkin).
There were also some other great swimming relays that just finished out of the medals. Galax finished fourth in the 200 medley (Chassney Hodge, Emma Morris, Hannah Smith, Suzanna Isom), seventh in the 9-10 100 boys’ freestyle (Cal Campbell, McCall Gillock, Levi Smith, Joey Jordan), fifth in the girls’ 15-18 200 freestyle (Ashley Jordan, Brooke Nelson, Bailey Prodin, Hailey Carpenter), fifth in the 15-18 200 boys’ freestyle (Austin Lumpkin, Dylan Coulson, David Cox, Ian Isom) and the 15-18 girls’ 200 medley (Ashley Jordan, Hayley Carpenter, Brooke Nelson, Sieara Nichols). The 9-10 girls’ freestyle EX team had an eighth-place finish (Faith Hennis, Allyson Mountcasel, Julia Hankins, Macy Alderman), the 7-8 girls’ medley EX team had a fifth-place finish (Rahma Elalfy, Peyton Edwards Carlie Campbell Grace Justice), and the 7-8 boys’ medley EX had a third-place finish (Violet Hayes, Liam Gillock Drew Morris and John Cox).
Some of the relay teams had swimmers that were on the bottom of their age group or had kids swimming up in older age groups to fill spots so the team was able to fill up all the spots in the relays and score the maximum amount of points possible. “When the smaller kids do this they are really selfless,” Lumpkin said. “And they think about the team first. The kids that we have in Galax are really committed to our program. We also don’t have the number of 15 to 18 swimmers that most of the other teams have. This year we had one 15-18 boy and four 15-18 girls and it is because we don’t have high school swimming in our area and most of the other teams in our league do, so the kids begin to get involved into other sports at that age and we lose them.
“Against some of the larger teams like Elkin it is hard to compete with them just on the numbers that they have. They usually out number you 2-to-1.”