Dozens of children from all across Surry County and the counties of Virginia to its north took over the Reeves Community Center pool on Friday night and Saturday morning, as the Blue Ridge Swim League completed its 2018 season with the conference championship meet.
Competition began with the 11-and-over swimmers on Friday night and wrapped up with the 10-and-under groups the following morning. After the older kids, who included a number of standouts from the local high schools, finished up on Friday night, the Elkin Wet Lighning held the lead over the Dobson Dolphins, and that’s how it ended on Saturday as well.
A total of 82 events were held, counting every age group in every division, and when it was all done, Elkin claimed the 2018 overall league title with 1965 points, followed by Dobson with 1434.5, the Galax Maroon Tide with 1287, the host Reeves Rapids with 1237.5, the CWC Tiger Sharks with 695, the Wytheville Waves with 605 and Patrick County with 181.
When broken down by boys’ and girls’ results, Elkin also won both portions of the meet, but Reeves was second in the girls’ half of the meet, with Dobson fourth. Those teams switched places on the boys’ side, with Galax third in both.
The Wet Lightning won 31 of the 82 events contested. Five of those 31 victories were earned in whole or part by a single Wet Lighting swimmer, 16 year-old Lorianna Sheaffer, who won the 100-yard individual medley, 50 freestyle, and 50 butterfly, and also was part of Elkin’s winning 200 free relay and 200 medley relay teams that each broke the old meet record.
The Friday session featured numerous events with local high school standouts going against each other, sometimes with college-bound swimmers competing. Alex Duncan of Elkin, competing for the Wet Lightning, and Nolan Gilliam of East Surry, competing for Dobson, went mano-a-mano twice, with Duncan beating Gilliam in the 100 IM by almost three seconds. Later on, they faced each other a second time in the 50 butterfly, where both swimmers shattered the meet record and Gilliam out-touched Duncan by .02 second. There were also numerous showdowns on the girls’ side which included Sheaffer tangling with East Surry standout Julie Hicks (representing Dobson), Elkin’s Tessa Cesare, and Mount Airy’s Sierra Best (swimming for Elkin).
The first event of the Friday session was won by Elkin’s Sophie Welborn in the 11-12 100 IM. Saturday began with the 8-and-under version of that event, which was a victory for Elena Banas of the Reeves Rapids. Other individual event wins by Surry County swimmers included:
Elkin: Troy Snow (11-12 100 IM, 11-12 50 back), Marshall Wells (13-14 100 IM), Webb Snyder (9-10 25 free), Amelia Presley (11-12 50 free), Evan Baker (9-10 25 breaststroke, 9-10 25 fly), Sophie Welborn (11-12 100 IM, 11-12 50 breast), Ford Holmes (11-12 50 breast), Mattie Wells (13-14 50 breast), Jack Zamudio (13-14 50 breast), Brady Shugart (15-18 50 breast), Morgan Wiles (11-12 50 back, 11-12 50 fly), Kassi Linquist (8-under 25 fly), Caeson Baker (13-14 50 fly).
Dobson: Sebastian Frausto (7-8 25 free), Julie Hicks (15-18 100 free), Joshua Escobar-Gonzalez (11-12 50 fly).
Reeves: Leah Pirrello (7-8 25 free), Peyton Gutierrez (10-under 50 free), Emily Gutierrez (13-14 50 back), Emily Goad (15-18 50 back).
Victories in relay events by local teams included:
Elkin: 11-12 200 free (Amelia Presley, Katie Beth Garza, Sophie Welborn and Morgan Wiles), 13-14 200 free (Jack Zamudio, Caeson Baker, Thomas McComb and Marshall Wells), girls’ 15-18 200 free (Tessa Cesare, Maia Schweikert, Sierra Best and Lorianna Sheaffer), boys’ 15-18 200 free (Brady Shugart, Jackson Holmes, Stovall Holmes and Alex Duncan), 9-10 100 medley (Webb Snyder, Evan Baker, Mark Davis and Caleb White), girls’ 11-12 200 medley (Amelia Presley, Sophie Welborn, Morgan Wiles and Katie Beth Garza), boys’ 11-12 200 medley (Troy Snow, Ford Holmes, Jeremy Zamudio and Carter Chu), 13-14 200 medley (Caeson Baker, Jack Zamudio, Marshall Wells and Thomas McComb), girls’ 15-18 200 medley (Tessa Cesare, Sierra Best, Lorianna Sheaffer and Maia Scheikert), and boys’ 15-18 200 medley (Alex Duncan, Brady Shugart, Cameron Burleson and Stovall Holmes).
Dobson: 6-under 100 free (Madeline Branch, Adele Cortez-Rosas, Hannah Smith and Karla Vargas-Hernandez), and 9-10 100 free (Estefano Frausto, Trevon Sawyers, Kameron Mauldin and Ulises Salgado-Perez)
Reeves: 7-8 100 free (Elena Banas, Olivia Montgomery, Leah Pirrello and Jackie Delacruz), 9-10 100 free (Rachel Bondurant, Peyton Gutierrez, Natalee Walls and Jessi Delacruz), 13-14 200 free (Jessica Sawyers, Emily Gutierrez, Emma Bowman and Anna Banas), 7-8 100 medley (Leah Pirrello, Olivia Montgomery, Elena Banas and Jackie Delacruz), and 9-10 100 medley (Natalie Walls, Jessi Delacruz, Peyton Gutierrez and Ella Tate).
Reach John via Twitter at @johncate73.