The Ashland Beacon
The Ashland Area YMCA once again hosted the YMCA state swim tournament this past weekend as part of the Kentucky YMCA Competitive Swim League or KYCSL. Seven teams from across the state competed for the honor of becoming state champions in their chosen events.
The Ashland Area YMCA swim team, known as the Rivermonsters, is relatively smaller than the other teams that were competing over the weekend. The Rivermonsters has about 40 swimmers that competed from age 5 to 18.
The Rivermonsters have a new coach this season. Coach Kenzie Pennington has been the assistant coach for a couple of years. She also swam on the team from the time she was in elementary school all the way through her senior year when the team was still called the Barracudas.
The team placed fifth overall even with their small numbers. Coach Pennington said that she was “really proud of them” and that a lot of the swimmers had “mostly best times.” Pennington said that this was the most excited the team had been in a while and that she was “really excited to see them happy.” Kenzie is helped by several assistant coaches-Tiffany Aeling, Timmy Boggs, Billy Cox, and Bryan Waits. Several of the swimmers had good enough times to make it to the next level which are the Zones.
Mary Lara Hardesty, who took first in the 200 yard butterfly while shaving two seconds off of her previous personal best time, said that “Everyone on our team is having a really good weekend.” She said that “there have been a lot of time drops and good finishes.” She said that the new coaches have created “a really good atmosphere.”
Jasmine Webb took home the trophy for the Individual High Point Winner for the 15-18 girls. She placed first in every single one of her events. Calyx Holmes took home the Individual High Point Winner for the 15-18 boys by placing first in all of his events with the exception of the 100-yard breaststroke where he came in second. The Girls 15-18 Team High Point Trophy was also awarded to the Rivermonsters with Abby Christian, Mary Lara Hardesty, Lauren Peters, Vivian Sandifer, Sara Shytel, Cait Waits, Jasmine Webb, and Carlie Whitlock all scored points for the team.
Jasmine Webb, swimming in the 15-18 girls division, took first place in the 200 yard backstroke, the 50 freestyle, the 200 freestyle, the 100 freestyle, the 100 butterfly, and the 100 backstroke. She was also part of the Girls 15-18 Relay team along with Carlie Whitlock, Cait Waits, and Abby Christian. They took first place in the 400-yard freestyle relay and the 200-yard medley relay. The team then placed third in the 200-yard freestyle relay.
Calyx Holmes, swimming in the 15-18 boys division, placed first in the 50-yard freestyle, the 200-yard freestyle, the 100-yard freestyle, the 100-yard butterfly, the 100-yard backstroke and took second place in the 100-yard breaststroke. He was also on the Boys 15-18 relay team along with Dylan Midkiff, Reece Pennington, and Will Waits. They placed first in the 400-yard freestyle relay and second in the 200-yard medley relay.
Reece Pennington took first place in both the 200-yard backstroke and the 500-yard freestyle in the boys 15-18 age range. He then came in second in the 200-yard individual medley, the 400-yard individual medley, and the 200-yard freestyle. He placed third in the 100-yard backstroke. Dylan Midkiff placed second for the 15-18 boys in the 50-yard freestyle.
Vivian Sandifer placed first for the 15-18 girls in the 500-yard freestyle and the 400-yard individual medley. She took third place in both the 200-yard backstroke and the 200-yard freestyle. Abby Christian came in second place for the 15-18 girls in the 200-yard backstroke, the 200-yard individual medley, the 200-yard freestyle, the 100-yard freestyle, and the 100-yard backstroke. She placed third in the 50-yard freestyle.
Mary Lara Hardesty took first for the 15-18 girls in the 200-yard butterfly and third in the 500-yard freestyle. Lauren Peters placed second for the 15-18 girls in the 500-yard freestyle.
For the 9-10 year old girls, Kendall Simpson placed second in the 50-yard butterfly and the 50-yard breaststroke. Brynlee Trippett placed first in the 500-yard freestyle and third in the 200-yard freestyle for the 11-12 year old girls. Will Waits, swimming for the 13-14 year old boys, took third in both the 200-yard breaststroke and the 100-yard breaststroke.