Bryant makes a splash at meets

LITTLE ROCK – The Bryant Lady Hornets swim team finished in second place at the Central Arkansas Invitational swim and dive meet this past Saturday. The Lady Hornets scored 267 points behind Conway High School’s 535 points. The Bryant boys finished in sixth place with a total of 158, the Benton Panthers finished in 13th place (29.5) and the Lady Panthers came in 12th with 41 points.

At the beginning of the swimming portion of the Central Arkansas Invitational swim and dive meet on Saturday, Feb. 4, at UALR, the Bryant Hornet girls were in the water and ready to swim their first event, the Girls 200-yard medley relay. The relay team of junior Emily Dabbs, sophomore Courtney Wells, junior Jinson Kang and freshman Sarah White completed the event with a time of 2:14.76 to give them a third-place finish and 32 points for the Lady Hornets. The boys relay team of sophomore Casey Ball, senior Dylan Rogers, sophomore Jonathan Stewart and senior Jake Tipton completed the 200-yard medley relay in ninth place with a final time of 2:01.73 to give Bryant 18 points.

Next it was on to Event 5 for the girls and Kang finished the Girls 200-yard freestyle in second place with a time of 2:04.18. Kang’s time was just a little slower then her “seed time” but still kept her qualified for the state meet and giving her team 17 points. Sophomore Shelby Burchfield and junior Mollie Robinson finished in 13th and 14th places, adding even more points for their teams total score. Event 6, the boys 200-yard freestyle, had four of the Hornets in the water competing. Sophomore Ross Grant led the group with a 19th-place finish with a time of 2:25.66. Nick Hoffpauir followed with a 21st-place with a time of 2:30.50, Spencer Qualls came in 26th with a time of 2:33.95 and Ryan West completed the pack with a time of 2:43.59 and giving him 29th place.

With the Bryant competing in every event at the meet, the swimmers had highlights and lowlights throughout the day. During event 13, the girls 100-yard freestyle, Kang pulled ahead of the group to finish the event in first place with a finish time of 57.43, cutting even more time off her “seed time” of 57.58. Dabbs competed in the girls 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard butterfly with ninth-place finishes for both events, swimming just a little slower on the events, but still giving overall points to the team. On the boys team, Ball was able to shave time off his seed time with a finish time of 57.66 and an eighth-place finish in the boys 100-yard freestyle.

Ball’s seed time going into the event was 1:02.00 and with the faster time, he was able to score an additional 11 points for the boys team. Tipton and sophomore Ross Grant also competed in the freestyle and Tipton finished in 14th place with a finish time of 1:00.60 and Grant finished in seventh place with a time of 1:01.56. In the girls 500-yard freestyle, the Bryant girls showed endurance. Wells finished in fifth place with a time of 6:58.17, edging out teammate senior Jordan Martin, who came in seventh place with a time of 7:03.05. Burchfield finished in ninth place (7:25.19).

The Benton Panthers swim team also participated in the Central Arkansas Invitational swim and dive meet. With a considerable smaller team then Bryant’s, they still had an impressive showing and were able to score points for their team. The Benton girls finished 12th with 41 points and the boys finished 13th with a total of 29.5 points.

Freshman Jenna Jamison competed in both the 50- and 100-yard freestyles and finished both events in sixth place. In the 50-yard freestyle Jamison was faster in the water with a finish time of 27.93. Her seed time going into the event was 28.18. At the conclusion of the 100-yard freestyle, Jamison finished again faster with a time of 1:01.89. Her seed time going into this event was 1:04.90. Freshman Hope Ernhart showed her endurance in the water with a fourth-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle with a finish time of 6:21.22, adding an additional 14 points to the teams’ score.

Junior Luke Jamison was the only swimmer from the Benton Panthers team to compete for the boys. He had a good showing in the boys 50-freestyle and 100-yard freestyle, he took fourth place in both. In the 50-yard freestyle, his finish time was 24.48 giving the team 14.50 points. Jamison finished with a time of 54.46 and scored 15 points in the 100-yarder.

Both teams are back in the pool on Saturday, Feb. 11, at OBU in Arkadelphia at 5 p.m., this will be the final meet for swimmers to qualify for the state meet.

The Bryant Hornets Dive team participated in an 11-dive meet held at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville on Saturday, Jan. 28. The meet was hosted by Bentonville High School with a total of 19 divers from area schools including the Bryant Hornets.

“This was a great opportunity for our divers because at the swim meets they usually do six dives,” said Hornets Coach Angel Dale. “However, at state and district, they must do 11 dives.”

The boys dive team of freshman Justin Combs, sophomore Scott Mead and freshman Lucas Reitenger took places seven, eight and nine, respectiviely. Combs came in seventh place and scored 244.05 overall points, Mead placed eighth with 194.25 points and Reitenger placed ninth with 131.85 points.

During the girls 1-meter dive event, senior Alise Heavrin completed her dives for a fourth-place finish with a total combined score of 271.65.

Teammate and senior Morganne Gillespie finished in eighth place with a score of 191.20. Sophomore Courtney Bulthuis finished in seventh place with a score of 193.20 and freshman Tiffany Robinson, the final diver, finished in 10th place with a score of 138.95.

With just a seven-day break from the Fayetteville meet the divers were back on the board on Saturday, Feb. 4, at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for the Central Arkansas Invitational Swim and Dive meet.

Heavrin again had an impressive morning of diving, she placed second overall with a final score on 160.20. Gillespie finished fifth with a score of 113.35, with Robinson finishing right behind her in sixth place with a final score of 102.10.

Combs also had an impressive morning as he completed his dives with a total score of 137.85 to give him a fourth-place finish. Reitenger and Mead finished in sixth and seventh place with scores of 110.10 for Reitenger and 96.40 for Mead.

With one more meet at OBU on Saturday, Feb. 11, before the state meet later this month, the divers are pulling out all the stops.