|MCHS aquatic team has best ever state meet
By Dan Manley
Advocate Sports Editor
When the dust had settled, or rather, the last splash had been made in the University of Louisville’s aquatic center at this year’s KHSAA State Meet, things were looking pretty good for the Montgomery County High School Swimming and Diving Team.
The ‘team without a practice facility’ as they have come to be known, finished 17th overall in the combined competition where schools have to score in both the boys and girls divisions to qualify.
Lexington Catholic won that competition for the second year in a row and Montgomery County tied with Woodford County for the 17th spot.
Additionally, Montgomery County had ninth place finishes in both the boys’ diving and boys’ 100-yard backstroke events, scored in a boys’ relay event and for the first time had one of their girls’ relay teams score points.
“It was a great meet for our program,” said Coach Lainey Neal, who had 13 swimmers and divers, the largest number of competitors ever from Montgomery County High School, qualify for the statewide competition.
Cameron Coffey put another line in his brilliant career with a ninth-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke.
He finished with a time of :53.36 and was fifth in the state among underclassmen. He set a new school record with a time of :52.29 in the preliminary competition.
His effort in that event helped the Indians score 20 points overall in the boys’ competitions, good enough for a 22nd place tie with Owensboro Catholic.
Ashland Paul Blazer scored 54 points and finished 15th in the state.
Ashland has had an indoor training facility and a swimming program since back in the early 1960s. Ashland and Montgomery County were the only two boys’ programs to finish in the top 25 in the state that are located east of Interstate 75.
Coffey was also 17th in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of :53.43.
The Indians finished 23rd in the 200 yard medley relay with a team of Cameron Coffey, Bryce McGinnis, James May and Ben Scott McDonald.
They were also 25th in the 200 yard freestyle relay with a team of Cameron Coffey, Justin Korossy, Ben Scott McDonald and James May.
Meanwhile, the boys’ 400 freestyle relay team finished 35th in the state with a time of 3:51.13.
“I’m extremely proud of our relay teams for making the state meet,” Neal said. “When you take into consideration the skill it takes and the time you can lose on your take-offs, it’s amazing without our own practice facility that these athletes can do this well.”
The 400 freestyle relay team consisted of Ben Scott McDonald, River Thompson, Bryce McGinnis and James May.
Divers score again!
The three members of the Montgomery County High School diving team who qualified for the state meet all did well.
Junior Garrett Craycraft finished ninth overall with freshman Meier Patrick coming in 15th and freshman Bryson Toy just missing the finals with a 17th place finish that made him the first alternate had someone had to drop out of the competition before the finals.
Girls’ best ever
The Montgomery County High School girls had their best state meet ever.
The 200-yard medley relay team came in 15th to score for the first time.
That squad of Kentlee Patrick, Samantha and Sarah Coffey and Alexis Trent also appeared to finish 20th in the 400 free relay but they were disqualified for an early take-off.
Samantha Coffey had a 24th place finish in the 200 yard freestyle and she was 17th and her twin sister Sarah came in 24th in the 500 yard freestyle event.
Kentlee Patrick had a 34th place finish in the 50 yard freestyle while Alexis Trent came in 30th in the backstroke.
“We can’t wait until next year,” Neal said. “We lose some quality swimmers but we’ve got a tremendous group coming back and we’ll have expectations of an even stronger finish next year.”