Cyclones flourish at THS

By Jeff Birchfield

   BRISTOL -- No matter which side of the state line, Bristol is proving to be friendly territory for the Elizabethton High School swim team.
   Thursday night, the Cyclone boys won a three-way meet at Tennessee High, besting both the home-pool Vikings and visiting Abingdon, Va. Elizabethton scored 105 points, Tennessee High had 80 and the Falcons swam to 67 points. This comes on the heels of EHS winning a five-team meet two Saturdays ago at Virginia High.
   The triumph did come with a cost as Charlie Crowe, who had already won the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle for EHS, in addition to being a part of the winning 200 medley team, aggravated his knee while swimming the third leg of a winning 200 freestyle relay.
   "He injured himself in practice yesterday, but didn't say anything about it," explained EHS swim coach Jonell Johnson. "His leg and knee were hurting after the 100 freestyle, but he went ahead and swam the relay. Unfortunately, he had to be helped to get out of here."
   Crowe wasn't the only one to score wins for the Cyclones. Brothers Jeremy and Evan Lindauer each were parts of two winning relay teams and also took individual honors.
   Senior Jeremy won the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:05.14 over teammate Blake Dugger and also captured the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:13.08.
   Sophomore Evan came up a tad short in the 100 backstroke finishing second with a time of 1:12.42, but won first place in the 200 freestyle.
   "Jeremy helps me a lot," said the younger Lindauer. "He always makes the state times. I'm always pushing myself and if I don't make the state times, I'm always mad at myself. We had a lot of brothers and sisters who swam and all did very well."
   The older siblings have seen some of their records shattered this season by the current Lindauer brothers.
   "We haven't exactly told them yet," joked Evan about the news of the records falling. "But, they will find out in a little while. My older brother Brian had the (relay) record that we broke a little while ago. I don't know what he will say when he finds out, but hopefully he will take it pretty well."
   The win in the 200 freestyle was a boost for the talented swimmer.
   "This was a pretty big meet and I didn't think I was going to win," admitted Lindauer. "I remember my brother told me to push it on the third 50 (meters) and that helped me a whole lot. I dropped my times and I'm getting kind of close on my state qualifying times."
   Craig Shaw, Ross Chun and Dugger also had big nights for the Cyclones aquatic squad, competing on two winning relay teams apiece.
   The Elizabethton girls weren't as fortunate on this evening, finishing third with 40 points, behind Abingdon with 161 points and Tennessee High with 74.
   However, there were several good performances for the Lady Cyclones. April Fuller finished fourth and Brittany Hilton fifth in the 100 freestyle.
   Hilton proceeded to finish fourth in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:36.48. This was one position ahead of teammate Lindsay Norris.
   The 200 medley relay with their time of 2:51.41 was highlighted by a fast time of 39.84 seconds by Sara Campbell in the final leg. Amber Hunt came up with a good performance in the 500 freestyle scoring a fifth place for the Black and Orange.
   Crystal Contino was another swimmer key to the Lady Cyclone results picking up points as part of the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams. Contino also placed fourth in the 200 intermediate relay and fifth in the 100 backstroke.
   "I've been swimming for three years and I think I'm doing pretty good now," said Contino. "I used to just compete in the 500 free. I got to swim in the 100 back and coach figured out that I could do it pretty good. There's really no difference in this pool than any other pool, but we feel comfortable up here."
   After five years with the Cyclone swimming program, this season has provided Johnson with a consistent winner. "I'm really happy with the boys," said Johnson. "Everyone of them has been dropping times like crazy. That's all I ever have asked them to do, but now they're actually winning at meets.
   "It's very satisfying. The last few years, the girls side has been the stronger of the two. They usually placed higher than the boys placed. It's really satisfying to see a turnaround like this. I hope that the girls can soon follow suit."