An eager group of six Georgetown/Scott County Supersharks, a girls’ swim team based out of the Pavilion, went stride-for-stride with the top competition in the state last weekend at the Kentucky long course championships.
The University of Louisville hosted the event at Ralph Wright Natatorium.
In the case of Ella Kaak, her performance in the 50-meter breaststroke is almost without peer in her age group throughout the nation.
Kaak won the 12-and-under gold medal with a time of 34.89 seconds after swimming 36 flat in the preliminary round.
“Ella’s time has put her sixth in the country, which is amazing,” GSCS coach Matt Stephens said.
Kaak won the event by a convincing margin of more than seven-tenths of a second.
Another quartet of Supersharks finished fourth in not one, but two, relays.
That 10-year-old group of Zoee Sheets, Gracesyn Akers, Aubrey Southworth and Natalie Batten held down that spot in both its 200-meter medley relay (2:59.45) and the 200-meter freestyle relay (2:33.19).
“The 10U girls relay teams placed fourth in the state behind only three teams from Louisville: Lakeside A, Lakeside B and Triton A, which are the traditional powerhouses,” Stephens said. “They beat Elizabethtown, which has always been a strong program, Kentucky Aquatics, all those teams.”
Georgetown/Scott County also received a state-qualifying effort this summer from 11-year-old Lauren Cox.
She finished 24th of 33 competitors in the 12U 50-meter freestyle. Cox’s time of 33.67 missed the final by one second plus a fraction.
“Lauren is a first-year swimmer, and this was more of a learning experience for her,” Stephens said. “She’s that sixth swimmer, that positive person every team needs.”
Akers and Kaak also each picked up silver medals.
Second place for Akers came in the 10U 100-meter butterfly with a time of 1:25.91.
Kaak collected three runner-up honors in 12U: 100-meter freestyle at 1:03.34; 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:17; and 50 freestyle with a 28.97 measure.
Akers also swam in the 10U 200 individual medley final, finishing 10th with a time of 3:20.93. She beat the 3-minute plateau in the 200 freestyle (10th, 2:59.56), then continued her strong showing a day later with seventh in 50 backstroke (42.26) and 11th in the 100 freestyle (1:21.55).
Sunday’s 50 butterfly final brought Akers (37.22) a fifth-place result.
In the 12U 200 IM, Kaak collected 14th place at a clip of 2:49.40. She was 16th in the 400 freestyle at 5:19.16, then took 10th aa day later with 35.35 in the 50 backstroke.
Batten was ninth in the 10U 50 freestyle at 34.75.
Stephens, who served double duty as Scott County High School coach for many years, gave the local club his full attention a few summers ago.
“They all practice two or more hours every night in addition to all the work they put in on their own,” he said. “It’s a lot of work, and it’s rewarding to see it pay off like this.”
Kal Oakes can be reached via email at email@example.com.