TAD drops meet with Science Hill

Photo by John Bryant
Kim Zamore of T.A. Dugger swims the girls 100 freestyle, in which she placed third.

By Rebecca Pierson
Asst. Sports Editor

  The T.A. Dugger swim team took on the Science Hill 'Toppers middle school team at Elizabethton High School on Tuesday, with the 'Toppers taking all of the individual events.
  "This is a brand new team," T.A. Dugger coach Jonell Johnson said. "With the exception of Justin Stanley, who has been with me for three season, and Karen Applebee, who just came back tonight, everyone else are new swimmers. A few of them swam with me this summer. I am very happy when we can finish a race and I don't have to disqualify anyone on an incorrect turn or start. I am pleased with that. This is a good starting point."
  For the girls team in the 200 medley, Megan Lorencen, Heather Duncan, Sam Owens and Kate Trent beat out the T.A. Dugger team by a time of 1:09:76.
  In the 100 freestyle, Kim Zamora and Casey McNeal finished in third and fourth place behind Emily Vaughan and Maggie Parris, with Vaughan finishing with a time of 1:09:10.
  Dugger's Emma Sturgill finished the 100 individual medley with a time of 1:47:02 in second place behind Sam Owens, who finished in 1:15:72.
  'Topper Laney Hill finished first in the 25 freestyle with a 13:87. Kara Applebee finished in second with 16.81 and Bethany Fair finished at 27.93 in third.
  In the 50 freestyle, Vaughan finished in first place with a 30.70 and teammate Maggie Parris just behind her with a 36.73. T.A. Dugger's Cassie Sprague finished third with a 40.55 and McNeal came in fourth with a 40.91.
  Lorencen and Trent took the 50 backstroke event for the 'Toppers with times of 39.47 and 40.37, respectively. Sturgill came in third place with a time of 50.08 and Fair took the fourth place spot.
  T.A. Dugger did not run in the 50 butterfly, 200 freestyle or the 200 freestyle relay.
  For the boys squad, Andrew Oliver, Luke Martinez, Justin Stanley and Garrett Espenscheid placed in second place in the 100 medley with a time of 1:21:02.
  In the 100 freestyle, Science Hill's Taylor Wilson took first place with a 1:06:92 with Brian Fickley just behind him with a 1:23:00. T.A. Dugger's Espenscheid came in third with a 1:26:58 and Stanley finished fourth at 1:31:50.
  In the 100 individual medley, Martinez came in second place with a 1:56:04, just behind Kyle Owens of the Hill.
  In the 25 freestyle, Mason Edmonds swam a 13:07 for the first place slot while 'Topper teammate Darren Brown finished behind him with a 16:14. T.A. Dugger's Andrew Oliver and Matthew Day came in third and fourth with times of 17:86 and 23:64, respectively.
  In the 50 freestyle, Oliver came in third place behind Toppers Owens and Brian Fickley.
  Espenscheid finished in third place in the 200 freestyle with a time of 3:13:72 behind Edmonds in first, 2:42:47, and Andrew Mann in second, 2:52:00.
  In the 100 freestyle relay, the Hill finished in first at 1:01:09 and T.A. Dugger finished at 1:21:14.
  Wilson took the top spot in the 50 backstroke at a 36:34 while teammate Brown finished at 46:97. Day came in the third spot at 57:92.
  Martinez and Stanley came in third and fourth in the 50 breaststroke while James Kang took the top stop at 38:91 and Brown taking second at 46:97.
  "They are actually doing really well," Science Hill coach Chris Coraggio said. "It is nice to get them away from the varsity team to where they have the opportunity to step up and performance a team within their grade. We have some people that when we started the season, they couldn't dive in off the blocks, they didn't know what a flip turn was and some didn't even know what strokes they were out performing.
  "We have some kids who are very accomplished swimmers and they tend to be on our club team. We had some other kids that were stepping up and contributing also. I appreciate T.A. Dugger hosting us. Letting us come here and perform like that, that was very generous of them. Coach Johnson does a good job with them."
  The T.A. Dugger team competed this past weekend at the Relay Carnival in a non-official event, and Johnson said she was pleased with both the T.A. Dugger performance and the Elizabethton team. The junior high team placed second overall and beat Science Hill there.
  Johnson also said that all she hopes the junior high team will just get better and a little bit faster, and that is all that she asks of them and that they have been giving her that.