The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

July 3, 2014

Palestine Piranhas swim team continue wins at second Nacogdoches meet

By KATHRINE NEWTON
Palestine Herald-Press

PALESTINE — The Palestine YMCA Piranhas were back in Nacogdoches Saturday, June 28 for the second of their East Texas Summer Swim League (ETSSL) “regular swimming meets.”

The meet was again hosted by Ambush Swimming of the Boys and Girls Club of Nacogdoches in the Lehmann Swim Center, but this time included the Fun Forest Flying Fish of Tyler and the Megalodons of Athens.

Eight-year-old Braedan Harris got the Piranhas off to a good start with a first place and a personal best time in the Boys 8 & under 25-yard freestyle, 16.98.

His successful Saturday  ended with two second places in the 25-yard backstroke, 20.91,  and the 25-yard butterfly, 22.85, and with a third place in the 25-yard breastroke, 25.34.

“Braedan doesn’t do a whole lot of talking,” Piranha Head Coach Kathrine Newton said. “However you can say his actions speak volumes!”

John Berry, 10, started his blue ribbon collection with an inaugural overall win and a personal best time in the Boys 9-10 25-yard breaststroke, 23.10.  He also finished third overall in both the 25-yard freestyle, 18.72, and the 25-yard butterfly, 22.51.   

“John started just last year and is certainly going gangbusters this year,” said Newton. “I can’t wait to see what happens next.”  

Speaking of blue ribbon collections, Chase Fields, 11, Kacie Kimbrough, 11, Madison Crader, 12, and Summer Hagan, 14, continued to add to their blue ribbon count.

In the Boys 11-12 100-yard individual medley, Fields outswam his competition by more than two seconds, 1:22.95, and in the 50-yard butterfly by nearly six seconds, 38.96.

“This is the best that I have ever seen Chase swim,” Megalodon Head Coach Willy Robson stated after watching Fields race in the butterfly event.

“Coach Robson and I are fortunate enough to share Chase’s swimming talent and good attitude,” said Newton.

Newton explained that because Fields enjoys competitive swimming so much, he and his family make the effort to travel from Palestine to practice with Coach Robson in Athens during the rest of the year.

For third time this season, Kimbrough topped the Girls 11-12 50-yard freestyle, 30.24, and, with a personal best, the Girls 11-12 50-yard butterfly, 35.41.

Crader earned another first in the Girls 11-12 50-yard breaststroke, 38.80, and was on the leader board with a first place and personal best in the individual medley, 1:18.18.  

With the help of Sam Veneris, 12, the same 11-12 year-old-trio handily swam to a first place finish in the Mixed 200-yard freestyle relay, 2:13.48. Their closest competitor was nearly 12 seconds behind them.

Not to be outdone, Hagan touched the wall first in the Girls 13-14 50-yard freestyle, 28.34, and in the 50-yard backstroke, 33.44.

“It is fun and exciting to see Piranhas who take on the competition and finish first above all,” said Newton. “The fact is only one person can be first, but everyone can be a winner. I had a pool full of winners on Saturday.

“Take for instance eleven-year-old Savanna Harris,” noted Newton. “Due to the starter’s error, Savanna’s heat had to repeat their 50-yard butterfly race — essentially she swam a 100 yard butterfly — without complaint and with a smile on her beautiful little face.”

From Newton’s perspective, Rosa, 15, and Alex, 13, Hernandez also illustrated more winning attitudes. The siblings faced the daunting task of competing in the 100 individual medley (IM) for the first time in their respective swimming careers. The 100 IM consists of 25 yards each of butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle.

“I am proud!” they both declared upon finishing their respective races. The siblings are now official members of the elite 2014 Piranha IM Club.

The Piranhas will rest this weekend and get ready to resume their busy July schedule starting with the ETSSL Champs Meet on Saturday, July 12 in Lufkin.