Elizabethtown’s John Michael Hayes and Kaitlyn Brandenburg were named Swimmers of the Year last year at the Region 3 Championships. Both swimmers are back for another season in the pool for the Panthers.

The Elizabethtown swim program is one month into the season and so far Coach Chase Simmons has seen a solid effort out of his team.

This year’s team is much younger, with only three seniors on the girls’ team and none on the boys’ side. While the Panthers may not be as experienced as other programs in the area, Simmons has enjoyed helping the newer members learn how to improve.

“Our team is a bit on the younger side, but definitely ready for the challenge,” Simmons said. “They are a tight-knit group and enjoy competing.”

Simmons hopes that with growth over the course of the schedule, Elizabethtown can send multiple swimmers to states in February. An added bonus would be winning regionals in the process.

Simmons did not name any standouts in particular, but said that any of his swimmers had the potential to take off.

“With a lot of young swimmers, we will just have to wait and see what they can do.”

The boys’ roster consists of juniors Ahmad Banihani, Matthew Barnes, Colton Breunig, Jack Logan and Raymond Smith; sophomores James DellaCamera, Triston Edmonds, John Hayes, Will Kerr and Brady C. Koval; freshmen Gavin Breunig, Jase Hawkins, Braden Shearer and Andrew Wilson; eighth-grader Lance Logan; and seventh-grader Tyran Jamison Thompson.

The girls’ roster consists of seniors Kaitlyn Brandenburg, Mackenzie Hustead and Bridget Siddle; juniors Elizabeth A. Godfrey and Madelyn Godfrey; sophomores Alexandria Harris, Yesenia Hernandez and Megan Raney; freshmen Emma Fellows, Lauren Godfrey, Jillian Sarver and Madelyn West; eighth graders Anna E. Diehl, Morgan Dyer, Stella Fox, Olivia Paulsen, Marissa Toms; and seventh-grader Isabella M. Minaudo.

MEADE COUNTY.  Swim season is off and running at Meade County High School. So far, the Green Wave and Lady Wave have wasted no time showcasing their determination to Coach Kelly Wilson.

“My team has been working hard every day this season,” Wilson said.

The team opened its competition schedule on Saturday, Nov. 16, at the Laker Fall Preview meet in Russell County. Competing against a field of 19 programs, Meade County took off for second place. The performance also gave Wilson a sense of where the team can continue to work.

“It was a great overall performance,” Wilson explained. “However, we identified several areas of growth and improvement that we are now working to address.”

Despite the early success, this is still a somewhat younger program hitting the pool this year. Exceptions include three seniors and four past state qualifiers.

One area where inexperience will be evident is relays. Of particualar note was the boys’ relay team, which has qualified for states five years in a row but lost three out of four members.

Wilson said that what some of her swimmers lack in experience, they make up for in their desire to compete, improve and hold themselves to high standards.

“We have great leadership and passion. Those strengths are just as important to me as the work and performance they have in the water,” Wilson said. “I want to win and I am one of the most competitive people you will meet, but I want to earn a win with good character, sportsmanship and integrity.”

Swimmers of note identified by Wilson included seniors Logan Rister and Clint Reardon. Both came just short of making the state cut last year in individual events. Wilson also named juniors Tanner and Conner Medley and sophomores Kara Bewley and Lillian Slack. Regarding Bewley and Slack, Wilson added that both could have seasons for the books.

“[Bewley and Slack] will battle all year for school records and individual accomplishments,” Wilson said. “They have their eyes on state and are making personal sacrifices to ensure they make their splash at UK this year.”

In the freshman class, Wilson identified Macy Barr and Christine Dreitzler as two swimmers with bright futures.

Wilson summed up Meade County’s number-one goal this season as staying healthy so that the team can post strong performances down the stretch. She hopes that this combined with hard work at practice will translate into postseason success.

“I am pushing my team every day and they are responding with enthusiasm and desire to achieve,” Wilson said. “I trust their ability and their talent and their work ethic is second to none.  We plan to make some waves.”

The boys’ roster consists of seniors Rister, Reardon, James Lawson, Anthony Slack and Jeffrey Smith; the Medleys are the boys’ team’s only juniors; sophomores Chase Carter, Jay Hartlage and David Ruiz; eighth-graders Ian Boyer, Landen Moore and Paul Slack; and seventh-graders Jacob Borden, Michael Pickett and Julian Varner.

The girls’ roster consists of senior Maddy Sipes; junior Mimi Stull; sophomores Bewley, Slack, Hailey Ambers and Katie Kelly; freshmen Jaylene Thomas and Christine Dreitzler; and seventh-grader Macy Barr.

FORT KNOX. Swim season has begun and Fort Knox High School is back in the water for another year of competition. So far, Coach Terry Turner has been impressed by how the Eagles and Lady Eagles have opened the season.

While Fort Knox may not be the oldest team at meets, that doesn’t mean they haven’t been able to compete.

“We are a relatively young team in age - in experience I feel like we are very solid with strong motivated leaders that have swam for Knox in previous years,” Turner said. “These leaders know what is expected and hold the team to high standards.”

The Lady Eagles are anchored by the strength of their relay teams. While the boys’ team is smaller and therefore less competitive as a group, Turner said the Eagles have solid individual talents in their ranks.

Turner explained that the team’s chief goals for the season were to lead by example, find ways to improve and bring out their best against tough regional opponents.

With many strong assetts, Turner expressed confidence in what the team as a whole can accomplish,

“Normally I would rattle off all the stand outs, but the whole team looks to stand out. Not just one or two individuals,” Turner said. “This year the team’s work ethic and commitment will be what to watch for.”

The boys’ roster consists of sophomores Christian Hinojos, Walter Osorio Davila, Jorge Otero and John Payment.

The girls’ roster consists of junior Cora Hahn, sophomores Ariadna Alsina, Lillian Bujarski, Kali Reycraft and Audra West; freshmen Rebecca Clark, Caroline Foote, Marissa Mitchell, Mikayla Mitchell and Dajhia Pendergrass; eighth-graders Olivia Clark, Madisen Ewing, Olivia Facey, Harlen Maugaotega and Samantha Walker; and seventh-graders Hailey Ferguson, Abigail Smith and Elena Yinh.

HARDIN COUNTY. The combined Hardin County team consists of swimmers from Central Hardin, John Hardin and North Hardin High Schools.

From Central Hardin, the boys’ roster consists of juniors Graham Hewitt, Alex Powers and Kaden Stillwell; sophomore Jackson Martin; freshman Clifford Collins; eighth-grader Nathan Carter; and seventh-grader Clark VanZant. The girls’ roster consists of seniors Elizabeth Hays, Anna Kathleen Pierce and Hadley Whitsell; juniors Caitlin Higdon and Hannah Lewis; sophomore Nora Minor; and freshman Ellie Wright.

From John Hardin, the boys’ roster consists of senior Kevin Whitaker; junior Conan O’Donnell; sophomore Hunter Black; and freshman Zuri Lowe. The girls’ roster consists of juniors Korrie Hyche, Madison Jackson and Lena Stevens; sophomores Keliona J. Brown, Emily Culver, Bailey Lowe and Summer Faith McCune; freshmen Iysis Alexander and Elizabeth Clawson; and seventh-graders Emmalyn Lies and Akili Lowe.

From North Hardin, the boys’ roster consists of seniors Benjamin J. Carr, Phoenix Compton and Thomas Webb; juniors Jonathan Brown, Kenneth Blake Danley and Darrell Liwanag; and sophomores Alejandro Tomas Garcia, Benjamin McDonald and David Salazar. The girls’ roster consists of seniors Louisa Garcia, Alexandria Hernandez, Kayla Lange, Madison Parker and Faith Singletary; sophomore Haley Grace Bryant; freshman Cathryn Danley; and eighth-grader Abigail Clark.

Matt Tyson can be reached at 270-505-1754 or by email at mtyson@thenewsenterprise.com.

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