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Swim teams compete in Southwest District championships

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 On the weekend of Feb. 18-19, the Southwest District Championships of Virginia Swimming were held at The Carter Athletic Center in Roanoke. 

The Galax Riptide from the Galax Recreation Department and the Tiger Sharks of the Carroll Wellness Center were among the nearly 400 swimmers from Southwest Virginia at the meet, which included teams from Bristol, Charlottesville, Waynesboro, Lexington, Lynchburg,  Christiansburg, Radford, Roanoke and some smaller towns and cities Southwest Virginia.

There are many objectives to any swim meet, such as swimming one’s fastest, win a heat or winning a race. “But at this level of swimming the kids are trying to qualify for the next swim meet by swimming fast enough to meet the motivational time split that they need,” said Galax coach Trace Lumpkin.  

Galax had three swimmers qualify for the Southwest Region Championship.  Savanna Lumpkin finished second overall in the 9-10 girls’ 50-yard backstroke with a time of 42.82 seconds, missing out on first place by one-one hundredth of a second, barely over the meet record. She had qualified for the 9-10 girls’ 100-yard breaststroke earlier in the season. Lumpkin also earned a fourth-place medal in the 9-10 girls’ yard 50 breaststroke where she achieved a B time of 48.98. She also earned a fifth-place ribbon in the 9 – 10 100 yard individual medley with a time of 1:34.81 and placed 17th in the 100 yard freestyle and 13th in 9 - 10 the 50 yard fly with a time of 48.94, dropping .17 seconds.  “Savanna had a great meet this year and I hope she will stay motivated and work hard through summer,” Trace Lumpkin said.

The team also had two other qualifiers – Abdol Morsy and Hajar Morsy, both of whom had qualified for one event each prior to the meet, Abdol in the 11-12 boy’s 50-yard butterfly and Hajar in the 9-10 girls’ 50-yard backstroke. Both would qualify in more events throughout the weekend.

Hajar Morsy continued to swim well throughout the weekend, winning two events and placing second in another in the girls’ 9-10 division. She set a new meet record in winning the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:41.95 and winning the 50 breaststroke in 46.15. She placed second in the 50 butterfly with a time of 38.36.

Her older brother Abdol qualified in his two strongest events, the 11-12 boys’ 50-yard free style which he earned a first place medal with a time of 30.43 and the 100-yard backstroke where he third-place medal with a time of 1:18.11.

Another meet record was set by Habeba Morsy in the girls’ 7-under 25-yard butterfly with a time of 17.18, receiving a first-place medal. She won the 25 freestyle with a time of 16.44 and the 50-yard butterfly with a time of 43.52, receiving a B time. She finished second in both the 50-yard freestyle (36.86) and the 25-yard backstroke (21.40) finished the day with a third-place medal in the 100-yard IM (1:40.88).

Rawan Morsy swam very well for an 11-year-old in a 12-year-old grouping, placing seventh in the girls’ 50-yard backstroke (38.21) and eighth in the 50-yard freestyle (33.12).  She was 17th in the 50-yard butterfly and 19th in the100-yard freestyle. 

Chassney Hodge received a fourth-place medal in the girl’s 13-14 50-yard freestyle with a time of 31.42, which was a B time.  Hodge also had great swims in the 100-yard butterfly, cutting 4.67 seconds off her time to finish 16th,  and trimming 4.47 seconds off her 100 breaststroke time to place 13th.

Another swimmer that had a great meet cutting time and placing high enough in all his events to earn ribbons was 13-year-old Austin Lumpkin.  His highest finish was a sixth place in the 100-yard freestyle, and he had two seventh-place finishes – the 50-yard freestyle and the 200-yard breaststroke. He had eighth-place finishes in the 100-yard back, the 200-yard freestyle and the 100-yard breaststroke. 

Mimi Pemberton earned her first two B times at the meet in the girls’ 9-10 age group.

“She has steadily been cutting time in all her events, but she’s has shown the most improvement in the freestyle,” Lumpkin said. “I was so excited when I realized that she got her time, I did not tell her, I wrote‘I earned my first B time today’ on her back so everyone would know. She was so excited and proud.”

Pemberton had a time B time of 1:30.63 in the 100-yard freestyle finishing 19th and cutting 5.76 seconds.  She also earned a B time in the 50-yard freestyle, placing 22nd and cutting 4.06 seconds. Her highest place finish in the meet came in the 50-yard butterfly where she was 15th with a time of 51.41.

At age 6, Mia Llamas was the youngest Riptide swimmer at the meet and cut a combined time of 27.37 seconds in five events.  Her best finish was a 10th in the 7-under 25-yard backstroke (26.20) She had an 11th in the girls 25-yard butterfly (30.81), a 13th in the 50-yard freestyle (52.65), a 13th in the 50-yard backstroke (58.45) and a 17th in the 25 yard freestyle (24.46).  

Earning two fifth-place finishes in the boys’ 8-year-old division for the Carroll Wellness Center Tiger Sharks was Nester Jackson. He swam the 25-yard backstroke in 22.81 and the 25-yard breaststroke in 24.78.  He also had a seventh in the 100-yard freestyle (1:25.95), a 10th in the 50-yard freestyle (42.04), a seventh-place finish in the 25-yard freestyle (18.36) and an 11th in the 50 backstroke (55.81).

Kyle Coleman earned a ninth-place finish in the boy’s 9-10 100-yard backstroke with a time of 1:44.61, finishing just outside of the ribbons.  He had some other great times in the 9-10 boys events, posting times of 1:58.85 in the 100-yard IM (17th), 44.07 in the 50 yard freestyle (18th) and 1:43.55 in the 100 yard freestyle (12th).

Alexis Smith had a great performance in the girl’s 8-year-old 25-yard backstroke, earning an eighth-place ribbon with a time of 25.35. In the 25-yard butterfly she finished just out of the ribbons in ninth with a time of 25.14, was 12th in the 25-yard breaststroke (30.27) and 13th in the 25-yard freestyle (22.01). In her two 50-yard events she swam the freestyle, placing 15th in 50.28 and the backstroke, finishing 14th in 56.94.

Jasmine Smith had a 16th place finish in the 11-12 girls’ 100 yard breaststroke (1:59.86), a 20th place in the 50-yard backstroke (50.04), a 22nd-place finish in the 50 yard freestyle (39.02), a 26th in the 50-yard breaststroke (1:43.55), a 26th-place finish in the 50-yard butterfly (47.36) and a 36th in the 100-yard freestyle (1:28.52).