KINGSPORT — A bleak, gray cold and rainy morning heralded Saturday’s swimming events for the 26th annual East Tennessee Classic.
Inside the fabulous Kingsport Aquatic Center, things were merry and bright.
Even with a contingent of year-round swimmers headed up Interstate 81 for the HOKI Classic in Christiansburg, Dobyns-Bennett’s swim team made a solid showing.
Competing against a field of 14 boys teams, the Indians edged Tennessee High 544½-502.
The most noteworthy individual accomplishment was Tyler Bourgoise winning the 500-yard freestyle in a time of 5:35.75, which qualified him for the state meet.
“The cut is 5:37,” said D-B swimming coach Nathan Love, who saw Austin Payne, Austin Hankwitz and Jackson Wallace turn in qualifying performances in Friday’s diving competition. “We had some good swims.”
The East Tennessee Classic is the second of two invitational meets hosted by D-B this season. The eight-lane pool at the KAC allowed this year’s meet to start a little later, warm up quicker and get done earlier.
“This is the first time that I know of that we’ve held the East Tennessee Classic in yards. We have a meter pool back at the high school,” Love said.
On the girls’ side of the meet, D-B’s Kate Ardire, who swam legs on the Lady Indians’ winning 200 medley relay and 400 free relay squads, clocked a 1:21.96 in the 100 breaststroke for a personal best in that event.
Team-wise, Tennessee High won the girls' meet, outscoring D-B 315-244½.
Tennessee High coach Chris Estep was also missing swimmers from his lineup because of ACT tests scheduled this weekend. But the Lady Vikings got a strong showing from Blakely Mathes, who won the 50 freestyle (27.26) and the 100 butterfly (1:05.81) and swam a leg on the winning 200 freestyle relay (1:56.31).
“Olivia Fox is swimming a bit hurt,” Estep said. “She strained her shoulder a little bit but she still swam well for us in the relays.”
Greeneville’s Brandt Hudson scored some points for the Greene Devils, winning the 200 freestyle (1:52.03) and the 100 backstroke (59.11), also contributing to the winning 200 medley (1:52.22) and 200 free (1:31.91) relays.
Relay-mates Coy Hudson and Clayton Ward also had a couple of individual triumphs, winning the 100 butterfly (58.10) and the 50 freestyle (23.68), respectively.