Piranhas Soar at Summer Awards Meet
Piranhas Soar at Summer Awards Meet
The Summer Awards meet in Christiansburg was an opportunity for many of our swimmers to finish their season with flair, pick up some new qualifying times, and drop time in buckets.  Many of them managed to do all three! Here are the highlights by group:


The Summer Awards Championship meet was the first long course meet for some of our Gold swimmers. But every Gold athlete, seasoned or a newbie, swam with confidence and posted a best time (or GREAT time) in one or more events.

The Summer Awards meet was Hannah Searwar’s first long course meet ever. She faced the challenge and raced well, particularly in her sprint free.

Sage Searwar had never competed in the Summer Awards meet, but he handled his first long course championship like a pro. Sage turned on his turbo kick and took a second off his 50 sprint free. In the 100 breast, he executed a strong pullout off the turn and took a second off his (converted) time.

Kyle Sennett has been looking stronger at every meet, and Summer Awards was no exception. He powered his way to a 3-second time drop in the 50 free and a 1-second time drop in the 50 back.

Brendan Whitfield kept his feet up and moving on his backstroke and earned a best time in the 50 back. Likewise, Brendan used that same kick to power his way to a 2-second time drop in the 100 back. In the 50 free sprint, he controlled his breathing while keeping a high tempo and took a second off his time.


Varsity swimmers have trained well this long course season, the first long course season for some. Their conditioning was evident when they raced, making both coaches and athletes proud.

Joshua Bodine kept a long body line, good head position, and nice hand speed in his 200 back and broke 3 minutes for the first time. In fact, all his strokes have improved this long course season. His smooth but fast freestyle gave him a 3-second time drop in the 100 free and a 13-second time drop in the 200 free. His improved ability to “hit the line” in breaststroke gave him a 2-second time drop in the 100 breast. Joshua wrapped up his full meet schedule by taking an eye-popping 30 seconds off his (converted) 800 free time.

Francisca Cifuentes raced all out in her 50 free sprint and took a second off her (converted) time. Long course training has greatly improved her conditioning, and it paid off with a big, 7-second (converted) time drop in the 400 free.

This is Matthew Davidson’s first long course season since he was a young 9-year- old, and the long course pool was happy to welcome him back. Matthew dropped 6 seconds in his (converted) 200 back. He broke 3 minutes (and then some) in the 200 IM, and he earned a third place in the 100 free.

Ellie Eckert often chooses fly in choice stroke sets in practice, and it shows. She swam her best 100 fly ever, taking off an impressive 9 seconds. She attacked her 100 free sprint with gusto and took off a second in that event. Her middle and distance free were nice, too-- Ellie placed first in the 200 free, taking a second off her best time, and she finished her meet by chopping 7-seconds from her (converted) 800 free time.

Brian Grimmett has really pushed himself this summer in practice, and it paid off with several successful races. He had a nice (converted) time drop in the 200 back. He took off eleven seconds in the 200 IM, 12 seconds in the 400 IM, and another 2 seconds in the 100 breast.

JT Lotz stopped by the Summer Awards meet on his way to the Age Group Champs. JT swam one of his off events, the 200 back, and dropped a second. He also took off 6 tenths in his 100 free sprint.

Daniel Murray’s excellent attendance at practice helped him have a great meet. He already had the Age Group Champs qualifying time in the 200 IM from his short course season, but he is now qualified with an official (and faster) long course time thanks to a great backstroke leg. His 400 IM was fast, too, with a 15-second time drop. In the 200 free, Daniel’s smart pacing helped him take off 7 seconds.

Displaying his fastest tempo ever in the 200 back, Matthew Murray posted a best time in the 200 back by 5 seconds. A fast tempo in the freestyle gave him a 2-second time drop in the 100 and helped him whack 5 seconds off his 200 IM. Matthew has one of the best underwater dolphin kicks in the Varsity group, and he put it to good use in the 100 fly and dropped 3 seconds.

With her nice efforts in workout, Marley Peterson has been gaining even more strength and speed. She took a second off her (converted) 50 free sprint. Marley also placed in the 200 breast and dropped time in that event, too.

Austin Orange went to the Summer Awards meet intent on adding to his collection of Senior Champs time standards.  He did so when he added the 100 breast time of 1:15.11, dropping more than three seconds from his personal best and winning the event.  He managed to go 100% best times at the meet, including a massive drop of 6 seconds each in his 200 free & 200 breast (another 1st place finish) and 10 seconds in the 400 free. It was an excellent meet for Austin, showcasing his hard work during his first season in the National group.
David Schafer nearly swam 100% best times, missing achieving the feat by mere tenths in the 50 free.  He is a completely different swimmer now than he was in the spring when he started with LY.  His efforts led to a huge 26-second improvement in the 400 free, and a 6-second drop in the 200 IM on his way to also picking up new lifetime bests in the 100 & 200 breast and 100 & 200 free as well.  Long course season was good for David -- now we look forward to seeing him BRING IT in short course season.
Madison Sitton saved her best for last on the weekend, improving upon her best 800 by more than 7 seconds in a well-paced race that saw her win the event outright.  She also delivered her best time in the 100 back when she posted a 1:18.14.
Tanner Gage continued his tear of awesome improvements from the short season by stepping up again with some awesome swims.  He dropped more than 14 seconds in the 200 fly on his way to going 2:29.67 and improved by more than 7 in the 200 IM. Overall, he swam to 5 new best times and set himself up well for a slammin' short course season.