Swimming: RACY having successful summer
By Matt Hall
This summer has proven to be successful for the Rowan Aquatic Club YMCA swim team. The regular season ended in Hickory at the Upper Southeast Region YMCA Championships with a final count of 15 swimmers ages 8-14 qualifying for the 14-under state championships (Junior Olympics) in Cary and 13 swimmers ages 12-18 qualifying for the YMCA National Championships at the University of Maryland.
The team’s youngest competitors, Ethan Knorr, Jacob Ralston, and Caroline Cody (all age 8), qualified to compete with swimmers 10-under. These three swimmers are at an elite level for their age as 8-year-old competitors make up less than two percent of the field.
Kathryn Morrison (nine years old) and Kayla Tennant (10) complete the RACY 10-under age group.
Both of the swimmers qualified in multiple events, Kayla Tennant finished out top eight in the state in the 100-meter butterfly and 50-meter Freestyle.
In the 11-12 age group Brandon Ralston (12) and Taylor Rodenhuis (12) swam individual events and relays, Stefan Knorr (12) and Cody Dollarhide (11) teamed up with them on the relays throughout the weekend.
Ralston swam eight individual events. His highest finishes: 10th in the 100-meter freestyle, 11th in the 50 backstroke, 13th in the 50 freestyle and 14th in the 100 backstroke.
Rodenhuis swam eight individual events, as well. He is the state champion in the 400 and 200 freestyles, and he also finished second in the 100 free, 100 butterfly and 50 butterfly.
His time in the 200 freestyle posted a “top 16” ranking in the nation. Rodenhuis then traveled to Orlando to represent North Carolina in a competition against other states in the Southeastern Zone. This honor is only offered to the top five swimmers in the state in their respective age groups.
– Rounding out the Junior Olympic team is Michael Mebel (13), McKenzie Stevens (13), Sarah Agner (14), Katie Cater (13), and Jordan Seabolt (13). Each qualified and swam strong races throughout the weekend.
– The YMCA National qualifying team consists of: Shelby Carrion, Katie Cater, Carley Drye, Tanner Lowman, Andrew McCollister, Vicky Miller, Madi Ralston, Alex and Jackie Ramdin, Garrett and Job Spake, Garrison Stevens, and Will Stokes.
Rodenhuis also qualified but he attended Zones. Job Spake is going for relays.
This is the largest Y National qualifying team that RACY has ever had.