Riptides' Winter Invite

Riptides Racing Team hosts Winter Invitational
The Riptides Racing Team hosted their Winter Invitational swimming meet Jan 22-24 at the “Pepper” Geddings Recreation Center.  Nearly 160 swimmers from the Carolinas braved the cold and rainy weather to compete for another chance to qualify to respective State Championship swim meets.  Thirty-six members of Riptides Racing Team combined for over 60% personal best times, 18 new SC Swimming State Championship qualifying time standards, 3 new Age-group Sectional Championship q-times, 7 new team records and added two more swimmers to the Riptides’ SC Swimming State Championship team.

Harrison Clinton led Riptides with team records in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke events and 500- and 1650-freestyle events.  Clinton also added new SC State q-times in the 100-split of the 200-free and the 1000-free split of the mile and a new Age-group Sectional q-time in the 500-free.

Danielle Flaherty added the State Championship q-time in the 200 Individual Medley, while younger brother Jake Flaherty added the 50-butterfly and 200-backstroke.

Joe Guthinger added the 50-butterfly to his State Champs list and broke his first team record in the 500-free. 

Ella Habib swam to another State Championship q-time in the 100-butterfly.

Hannah McDonough added the 100 Individual Medley to her resume for State Champs.

Peyton McWhorter swam to new State Championship q-times in the 100-, 200- and 500-yard freestyle events and the 200-backstroke.

Ian Morgan swam to 3 new State Championship standards in the 100-yard freestyle, 100-breaststroke and 1000-split of the 1650-freestyle; the 1650 was also a new Age-group Sectional q-time.  Morgan broke the team record in the 1650 and 200-butterfly.

Connor Churchill and Ethan Nechemia each achieved their first SC Swimming State Championship q-times, bringing the total number of Riptides’ qualified to the State Championships to 17 individuals.  This breaks the team record of 16 individuals qualified set last year.

Nearly every swimmer achieved best times at the Winter Invite including Sadie Averitt, Sawyer Averitt, Olivia Bailey, Keyon Berenji, Jack Guthinger, Kailey Habib, Matthew Key, Emma Kinmartin, Mason Kinmartin Caroline Lyons, Jessica Lyons, Olivia Lyons, Kylie McWhorter, Brady Morris, Kyle Owens, Madera Palmer, Stergios Paraschos, Yianni Paraschos, Christian Patricio, Marissa Patricio, Michael Quiroga-Diaz Betts, Seth Riley, Ireland Rose and Ella Speir.

Several Riptides’ will attend a meet Jan 29-31 in Wilmington for one last opportunity to achieve more q-times for State Championships or add their first.

Said head coach James Smith, “The Winter Invite was another great meet for our swimmers and our guests.  Despite the cold weather, all the athletes did extremely well.

“As for Riptides Racing Team, enough cannot be said about how well the team is performing.  Our athletes, parents and coaches are doing a great job of buying into the ‘racing’ philosophy and its showing with so many swimmers qualified to compete at SC Swimming State Championships and other major championship meets.

“Harrison Clinton and Ian Morgan have really stepped up for Riptides.  They each now own State Champ q-times in every event offered for their age-group, not to mention multiple Age-group Sectional standards and many team records.

“With the ‘Last Chance’ meet in Wilmington, we have an opportunity to add more events for the swimmers to compete, but also add a couple more swimmers to the Riptides’ State Team.”

The South Carolina Swimming State Championships will occur February 12-15 at the Westside Aquatic Center in Greenville, SC.  The meet has typically hosted as many as 800 swimmers aged 18 years and under.  Since 2012, Riptides’ has gradually increased both the number of team qualifiers and the number of competed events every year.  This record of success has placed Riptides among the top-3 programs in South Carolina for improvement in these categories.