Wednesday, July 03, 2013

SPORTS STORY >> Piranhas challenge sharks

Leader sports editor

The overwhelming numbers advantage led to another easy win for the Sherwood Sharks swim team on Saturday at the Harmon Center, but the Cabot Piranhas out-did all other Shark opponents this year, scoring 496 points against a Sherwood team that has not lost a Central Arkansas Swim League meet in more than 10 years. The Piranhas total was 198 points more than Sherwood’s next nearest competitor.

The Lonoke Sharkrockets also made a strong showing, scoring 100 points with a vastly outnumbered squad. Sherwood scored 1077 points for the lopsided win.

Cabot got many of its points in the freestyle relays, winning five of the seven to become the first team to take a majority of the free relays from Sherwood in many, many years. The meet saw several swimmers jump from the gold division, which was the highest division until this year, to the new standard platinum division.

The first to pull off the feat was Sherwood’s A.J. Clements, whose time of 18.03 in the 25-yard freestyle moved him into elite company in the 8-under division. Sherwood’s Michael Potts was already a platinum swimmer, and continues at a blistering pace with a meet best time of 16.84.

Carson Taylor of Sherwood jumped to platinum in the boys 12-under freestyle, winning the gold race with a time of 29 seconds flat. He would’ve been third in the two-person platinum race, but only by the thinnest of margins. Cabot’s Tristan Bowen’s time of 28.97 beat Sherwood’s Joseph Potts by one-one hundredth of a second, meaning just three-one hundredths separated the top three swimmers. The boys 12-under division will be an exciting one to watch at the CASL Meet of Champs on July 20.

Cabot’s Kyla Genenbacher was the only platinum swimmer in the girls 10-under freestyle, but she improved her time to 34.72 seconds, almost a full two seconds faster than the next best time in the meet.

Sherwood’s Christopher Heye jumped to platinum in the boys 18-under backstroke, swimming faster than two of the three previously platinum qualified racers. Heye’s time of 28.19 was more than two seconds faster than his own seed time, and only two-one hundredths of a second slower than Cabot’s Seth Fox. Heye also became his division’s only platinum swimmer in the breaststroke with a winning time of 30.35.

Shark 10-year-old Stanley Phillip jumped to platinum in the 50-yard breaststroke with a time of 45.90, almost three seconds faster than his seed time. Nicholas Heye swam in the gold division, but turned in the fastest official time, possibly with the help of a disqualifying foul by Bowen, who was swimming in the platinum race. Nicholas’ time of 39.40 was four-one hundredths better than Cabot’s platinum swimmer Jason Bongfeldt. Jessica Bongfeldt bested the girls 10-under breaststroke field by almost six seconds with a time of 41.31.

Andrew Rodriguez joined three Shark teammates in the platinum division in the 14-under breaststroke, winning the gold race with a 36.74 finish, still slower though than teammates Thomas Heye, Josh Hale and Jordan Woodson, who finished 1-2-3 in the platinum race.

CASL teams take the holiday weekend off, and will be back in action on July 13 for the last regular-season meet of the year. Sherwood travels to Bryant while Lonoke hosts Cabot and Otter Creek.