Paul Laurence Dunbar finished with two team titles in the All-City swim meet, and was within striking distance of the top girls’ spot despite its best swimmer not being in the pool at Transylvania on Saturday.
Tates Creek claimed the best girls’ team finish, besting Madison Winstead-less Dunbar 388-370. Winstead, a University of Kentucky signee ranked among the top 25 recruits in the country by CollegeSwimming.com, placed third in the 100 breaststroke at the Speedo Winter Junior Championships — a USA Swimming event — on Friday.
With Winstead in the water, the Bulldogs in February will be expected to sweep their region and get a ninth straight combined team title. One wrinkle this season is a new regional realignment, which increased the number of regions from five to nine.
The eight Lexington schools, previously in Region 5, now compete in Region 8. The biggest difference is Lexington’s region companions no longer extend far into Eastern Kentucky, meaning their region home in recent years — Stivers Aquatic and Wellness Center in Barbourville — will change.
Wesley Siebenthaler, a Dunbar senior who placed second in the 200 freestyle and third in the 100 freestyle, said the Bulldogs — who showcased their depth despite winning the third-most events (five) — feel compelled to keep their school’s legacy going.
Will a shakeup to the regional equation make things more challenging?
“I think we’re just gonna go in, try our best and see what happens,” Siebenthaler said.
Rachel Klinker buoyed the Commodores, factoring in three of their four event wins. She took individual honors in the 200 freestyle (1:56.83; nearly eight seconds ahead of Lafayette’s Madi Brester) and 500 freestyle (5:08.92; about 20 seconds faster than Dunbar’s Lauren Denham). Klinker also was part of Creek’s winning 200 freestyle relay squad and its 400 freestyle team, which finished second to Dunbar by less than a second.
“It feels pretty cool,” to take a team title, Klinker said. The freshman has been swimming year-round for a couple of years with the Lexington Dolphins club team to prepare herself to make strides in high school.
Henry Clay edged Lafayette 7-6 in event wins. The most dominant individual performance of the afternoon came from Blue Devils junior Scotty Street, who won the boys’ 500 freestyle by about 21 seconds over Lafayette freshman Connor Hood.
Street said he was trying to produce a good time after coming off a lackluster showing in a meet in Nashville last weekend. That was a “taper” meet for the Blue Devils (tapering, in layman’s terms, is a period of reduced practice prior to a big meet).
“I didn’t do that well so I wanted to come here, throw out a good a time and build my confidence back up moving forward,” Street said.
Street, who was part of Blue Devils teams that took the 200 and 400 freestyle relays, thinks Henry Clay is poised to do well moving forward. He expressed some concern over the venue situation for the regional meet; right now there’s no confirmed host.
“If we can get that sorted out and fixed I think everything should be fine,” Street said.
Lexington Catholic claimed no event wins but finished second in the combined standings for the first time in school history. The boys finished second and the girls were third.
Sayre came away with wins in two events. Lauren Shepherd, a sophomore, took to girls’ 50 freestyle by three-tenths of a second over Dunbar’s Taylor Colony. Spartans senior Joseph Murphy won the boys’ 100 backstroke by almost a second over Henry Clay’s Matthew Street.
Combined team standings—1. Paul Laurence Dunbar 781; 2. Lexington Catholic 693; 3. Lafayette 597; 4. Henry Clay 578; 5. Tates Creek 573; 6. Sayre 543; 7. Lexington Christian 188; 8. Bryan Station 74.
Boys’ standings—1. Paul Laurence Dunbar 411; 2. Lexington Catholic 377; 3. Lafayette 325; 4. Henry Clay 282; 5. Sayre 277; 6. Tates Creek 185; 7. Lexington Christian 72: 8. Bryan Station 65.
Girls’ standings—1. Tates Creek 388; 2. Paul Laurence Dunbar 370; 3. Lexington Catholic 316; 4. Henry Clay 296; 5. Lafayette 272; 6. Sayre 266; 7. Lexington Christian 116; 8. Bryan Station 9.
200 medley relay—1. Lafayette (Connor Hood, Kellen Casey, Christian Casey, Michael Lozovoy) 1:45.12
200 freestyle—1. Matthew Street, Henry Clay, 1:50.60
200 individual medley—1. Christian Casey, Lafayette, 2:04.18
50 freestyle—1. Andrew Freibert, Henry Clay, 22.15
1-meter diving—1. Jonah Dunn, Lafayette, 223.45
100 butterfly—1. Christian Casey, Lafayette, 54.66
100 freestyle—1. Brooks Marquette, Paul Laurence Dunbar, 50.28
500 freestyle—1. Scott Street, Henry Clay, 4:53.24
200 freestyle relay—1. Henry Clay (Matthew Street, Stone Poole, Scott Street, Andrew Freibert) 1:32.92
100 backstroke—1. Joseph Murphy, Sayre, 55.85
100 breaststroke—1. Kellen Casey, Lafayette, 1:04.35
400 freestyle relay—1. Henry Clay (Matthew Street, Stone Poole, Scott Street, Andrew Freibert) 3:28.09
200 medley relay—1. Paul Laurence Dunbar (Lanier Whitton, Taylor Colony, Keriann Ferguson, Emily Bravard) 2:00.22
200 freestyle—1. Rachel Klinker, Tates Creek, 1:56.83
200 individual medley—1. Kailey Lewis, Tates Creek, 2:21.35
50 freestyle—1. Lauren Shepherd, Sayre, 26.16
1-meter diving—1. Elana Ehl, Henry Clay, 270.30
100 butterfly—1. Lauren Denham, Paul Laurence Dunbar, 1:00.29
100 freestyle—1. Abigail Wrightson, Lafayette, 59.40
500 freestyle—1. Rachel Klinker, Tates Creek, 5:08.92
200 freestyle relay—1. Tates Creek (Whitney Powell, Emma Ivey, Rachel Klinker, Kailey Lewis) 1:44.13
100 backstroke—1. Lanier Whitton, Paul Laurence Dunbar, 1:03.51
100 breaststroke—1. Hannah Freibert, Henry Clay, 1:11.44
400 freestyle relay—1. Paul Laurence Dunbar (Lanier Whitton, Emily Bravard, Cora Harter, Lauren Denham) 3:55.48