Cyclones manage respectable showing at E.T. Classic

By Matt Hill
STAR STAFF
mhill@starhq.com

   KINGSPORT-- Good things come in fours.
   With only four boys on the Elizabethton High School swim team, the Cyclones still managed a respectable showing Saturday during the East Tennessee Classic at Dobyns-Bennett High School.
   "I was real impressed with Charlie Crowe's second place in the 50-meter freestyle," Elizabethton head coach Jonell Johnson said. "We always expect him to do well in that event. But what really surprised me today was Blake Dugger finishing third in the 100-meter butterfly. It was just very impressive, and he also ended up placing sixth in the 100-free."
   Dugger doesn't have the experience that the other swimmers employ, so Johnson is very happy about his progress.
   "Blake never swam at the junior high level," Johnson said. "He came straight out of Hunter and out of the county schools, and he's really been quite a benefit to our team."
   Dugger swam the 100-butterfly at 1:16.86, which was a personal best.
   "I took three seconds off," Dugger said. "That's a pretty good race."
   In addition to Charlie Crowe's second place finish in the 50 freestyle, Crowe added a fourth-place finish in the 100 freestyle.
   "Last year in the 50, I got second to the same guy," Charlie Crowe said. "The best man won.
   "But there are a lot of good swimmers in the 100-free. There was a lot more competition. I got second in that last year, too. But fourth this year is fine, because I had my best time of the season, my best career time anyway. I thought I did pretty good overall.
   Evan Lindauer also had some good swims, placing eighth in the 100 meter breaststroke and fifth in the 200 meter freestyle.
   Lindauer and the Cyclones were really pleased with the relay teams' performances. Lindauer, Charlie Crowe, Eric Crowe and Dugger teamed up to finish third in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays.
   "To finish third was kind of unexpected," Lindauer said. "That was really good."
   Charlie Crowe was tickled for his younger brother Eric after the strong finishes in the relays.
   "He's working really hard," Charlie Crowe said. "He's still not where he wants to be, but he will get there soon. He swam in eighth grade, and he didn't swim his freshman or sophomore year. He just picked it up this year. He's not where he wants to be yet, but he'll get there. But after he does you better watch out, because we're going to be up there at the top."
   With the only four boys on the Cyclone swim roster combining to do so well in the relays, Charlie Crowe knows it's truly remarkable what they've accomplished.
   "We have one of the best guys teams I think," Crowe said. "If you take any of the top four swimmers off any team, we're going to be right there with them. We have a really good guys team even though we're really small."
   The girls team had some solid performances as well despite a few disqualifications.
   "The girls being new, they've learned some lessons today," Johnson said. "They got disqualified for some silly things, but they're learning and their times are dropping. As a coach I can't ask for anything else as long as they don't get disqualified for the same things they got disqualified for today. Their times are dropping, and I have to be happy with that."
   The swim team will be back in action Monday night in Morristown.