The high school swimming season kicked off earlier this month and one of the first events on the docket for area teams was the Jaguar Invitational Saturday.
Hosted by Westmoore, teams from around the state crammed in the Oklahoma City Community College Aquatic Center for the annual meet.
Norman North took the overall title. They were followed by Norman High, Mustang, Bishop McGuiness, PC West, Moore, Westmoore, Southmoore, Putnam City, Yukon, Mount St. Mary, Deer Creek, New Castle and Bethany.
“The kids did well,” Westmoore coach Brent Long said. “Almost everybody swam their fastest times of the year.”
Southmoore coach Darin Davis also liked what he saw from his squad.
“I think that the team did a great job overall,” Davis said. “A majority of our swimmers are in their first year of competitive swimming and they are shaving off time at every meet. Our few seasoned swimmers posted great times for early in the season. I am very proud of our two boys relay teams who qualified for state.”
Moore was led by Alex Ballard, who took first in the girls 200-IM and was part of the first place 200-medley relay team. In the IM, was three seconds ahead of Mustang’s Cressie Rubin, who finished second.
For the Jaguars, Karen Smelser won the girls 50-free with a time of 33.24 while Chris Luong took the boys 50-free in 27.10.
Kimmie Reneau, who took second in the event last year at state was disqualified for a false start. They also got strong outings from its 200-medley relay team, which qualified for state, and Christine Nguyen.
The Jaguars Chris Luong took the boys 50-free.
The Southmoore girls were paced by Elizabeth Le, who won 100-free with a time of 58.12. She held off Reneau, who swam a 58.81.
“Elizabeth Le is an amazing athlete and is coming out of the shadow cast by her brother (Paul Le) last year,” Davis said. “She qualified for state in both of her events while taking first place in the 100 Free and second in the 100-back.”
The SaberCats Sam Simpson won the boys 200-IM in a time of 2:36..20. He edged out Norman’s Avery Vigil. Reid Hibbs qualified for state in all four events that he was entered in and placed second in the boys 200 free.
“I am continually learning that our team has a great deal of potential,” Davis said. “ This is Southmoore’s first year to have a separate coach and program apart from the other Moore schools. We have no seniors this year; so, everyone returns for next year. When I look at the times that our students are posting, it is exciting to know that we are just scratching the surface of what they will be able to accomplish in the next few years.”
Michael Kinney 366-3537 email@example.com