Monday, March 09, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Cabot medley champs

Leader sports editor

The Lady Panther 200-yard medley relay team brought home the gold from last Saturday’s state championship swim meet at UALR’s Donaghey Center.

Juniors Jessie Baldwin and Caytee Wright, along with senior Riley Young and freshman Melanie Abbott teamed up to beat out second-place Bryant by a little more than a second to earn the state title. They finished with a time of 1:54.92 to beat the Hornets’ 1:56.10.
Bentonville was third at 1:56.28. No other team in the 7A/6A division came in under two minutes.

While the medley relay was the only state title for Cabot, the entire Lady Panthers’ squad turned in a strong performance, finishing with 194 points and placing third overall behind Bentonville and Conway.

Junior distance swimmer Haylee Beckley picked up several points for Cabot with a third-place finish in the 200-yard individual medley and a fourth-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle. Beckley was less than two seconds behind second place in the IM, while Bentonville senior Eunsol Chon won the event by finishing six seconds ahead of Beckley with a time of 2:11.23.

Three of the medley state champions, including Baldwin, Wright and Young, teamed up with senior Katie Frederick to place third in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Bentonville won the race by 3.18 seconds, while less than .65 separated second-place Conway from the Cabot team. 

Wright also came within .38 seconds of winning the 100-yard freestyle. Carly Holland of Rogers Heritage won that event with a time of 52.96. Wright also took third place in the 50-yard freestyle. Benton senior Hope Ernhart set a new state record with a time of 23.65 with El Dorado’s Isabella Gati and Wright on her tail at 24.34 and 24.56.

Baldwin also performed well in the 100-yard backstroke, but had to contend with Heritage’s Holland, who set a new state record with a time of 56.01. Baldwin finished third with a 59.66 time, and also finished third in the 100-yard breaststroke.

Springdale High’s Lauren Lamaestra won the event with a time of 1:08.83, while Alma’s Savannah Martin was second at 1:09.54. Baldwin was very close behind, finishing in 1:10.05.

The Cabot boys also placed in the medley relay, finishing sixth behind winner Bentonville. Juniors Payton Jones and Chris Daniel joined with sophomore Ben Cameron and senior Noah Joyner to finish in 1:47.40.

Jones also took fourth in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:50.04, and placed fifth in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 55.46.