High School Sports

Dunbar sweeps swimming titles

Tates Creek had a triple winner in Kelsey Floyd.

Henry Clay had double winners in Nick Wrightson, Cal Staben and Kelly Ren.

But Paul Laurence Dunbar swimmers had what was wanted most at Friday's Fayette County Public School Championships. The Bulldogs swept the combined, girls' and boys' team titles at Transylvania University.

"Very exciting," said Stephanie Kehler, coach of the Dogs. "I knew my boys were strong coming in, and we have a lot of depth this year. So I'm pleased with the results."

Dunbar edged Tates Creek for combined honors 1,429.5-1,316; 792-703 in boys' scoring; 637.5-613 in girls' points.

Eric Bruck led Dunbar's boys with wins in the 50- and 100-yard freestyles, and he anchored the first-place 200-yard medley and freestyle relays. Although he didn't crack his year-old individual meet records, the medley relay broke an eight-year-old record with a time of 1:41.45.

"Eric's trying to get back on track. He was out for a while, so he did great," said Kehler, who added that Bruck was unable to train over the holiday break because of minor surgery. "Did what he needed to do, and he'll be ready for state (Feb. 13-14)."

Teammate Michael Kendall pulled out a thriller in the 500 free, nipping Henry Clay's Chris Rush by two-tenths of a second in 4:55.11. Kendall also swam on the winning medley and 400 free relays, and he placed second in the 200 freestyle. Ben Nichols, Paul Parell and Cole Pleasants each swam on two winning relays and placed second or third in an individual event.

Creek's Yu Kono won the 100 backstroke and was runner-up in the 100 free.

Henry Clay's Wrightson won the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly, while Staben took the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke. Wrightson shattered the meet record in the 200 free, touching in 1:45.85.

On the girls' side, Dunbar junior Kristen Wilson dominated for a sixth consecutive year. She led a 1-2-3 finish for the Bulldogs in the 50 freestyle and a 1-2 finish in the 100 free, and she anchored the winning 200- and 400-yard freestyle relays.

Most pleasing was, she said, "probably my 100 free because I broke my record from two years ago, and that's the race I was closest to my best time in."

Wilson lowered her meet and pool record from 52.98 to 52.28.

Both relays set meet records — 1:41.94 in the 200 and 3:45.52 in the 400. Jenna Ballinger, runner-up in both of Wilson's individual events, joined her on the relays, as did 200 individual medley winner Carmen Pleasants.

Floyd romped in the 100 butterfly and 500 freestyle, led off Creek's victorious 200 medley relay and helped the Commodores to second place in the 400 free relay.

Her 500 time, 5:05.16, broke a 7-year-old meet standard and 16-year-old pool record, more than 21 seconds ahead of the runner-up.

"No warm down and no warm up, but it's OK," Floyd said of her day. "I was really focusing on the 500. Fly, I just wanted to not embarrass myself. ... Now that I've signed with Tennessee, I can't really give them a bad name."

Henry Clay's Ren ruled in the 100 backstroke and 200 freestyle. Teammate Melissa Smith took the 100 breaststroke.