It went swimmingly

Scott County qualified 11 swimmers for state while finishing sixth in the combined standings out of 15 schools in the Region 8 championships,

Scott County High School’s Brannock brothers, Kaleb and Kole, combined for three regional titles in an outstanding KHSAA Region 8 swim and dive championship Thursday through Saturday at Lancaster Aquatic Center on the University of Kentucky campus.

Twenty-four SC athletes competed, with 16 advancing to finals and 11 (including four relays) moving onto the state meet.

Kaleb and Kole Brannock earned the honor of being named to the All-Region Team, while Kaleb also received the distinction of outstanding male competitor, as voted on by coaches at the meet.

Overall the team finished sixth, in their region, which is led predominantly by Lexington schools. SC boys were fifth out of 15 schools, with the girls eighth.

“This is impressive, considering they had finished fifth last year and have shrunk in size since then,” SC coach Jeremy Fink noted.

Kaleb Brannock won the 100-yard butterfl y with a time of 49.98 and the 100 backstroke with a time of 49.12, automatically qualifying for both events at state. Each time was a personal best. Kole Brannock topped the 200 freestyle (1:46.48) and was third in the 100 backstroke.

The weekend started with diving. Gretchen Hamilton finished 12th in the girls 1-meter diving with a final score of 221.35.

Spencer Wood was seventh on the boys’ side with 237.90, which qualified him for state.

Swimming prelims took place on Friday, with finals on Saturday.

Scott County’s girls 200 medley relay (Grace Nicodemus, Alex Wesley, Anika Kuder, and Chloe Wallen) finished ninth in their final with a time of 2:07.97.

The 200 free relay (Wallen, Maddie Zaheri, Lauren Cox and Riette Bloomfield) took sixth in 1:45.65 for a state berth.

The girls’ 400 free relay (Zaheri, Cox, Nicodemus and Bloomfield) finished eighth and also advanced to state with their time of 4:03.92.

In the boys’ division, the 200 medley relay (Kaleb Brannock, Eli Beaven, Kole Brannock, Andrew Batten) finished fourth in finals at 1:45.16 to seal their state bid.

They’ll be joined by the 400 freestyle relay (Kaleb Brannock, Nick Wilson, Larken Barnes, Kole Brannock), which was sixth with a time of 3:36.97. Nick Wilson, Larken Barnes, Jay Wilson and Andrew Batten) were ninth in the 200 free relay with a time of 1:46.30.

Many team members also excelled in their individual events.

Bloomfield was runner-up in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:55.76 and seventh in the 100 fly with a time of 59.5, earning the right to swim in both at state.

Zaheri finished sixth in the 100 free with a time of 56.28 and ninth in the 100 back with a time of 1:01.57 to punch a pair of state tickets.

Kuder claimed 12th in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:23.85, while Wallen was eighth in the 50 free at 25.96. Cox claimed 16th in the 100 free with a time of 1:00.38.

Jay Wilson also made his first appearance in a boys’ region final, finishing 16th in the 100 fly with a time of 1:08.35.

Great Crossing was 11th among boys’ teams, 14th for the girls’, and 13th combined in its inaugural region meet.

The Lady Warhawks’ 200 medley relay of Noelle Eubanks, Ella Kaak, Becca Montgomery and Lilly Batten finished eighth with a final time of 2:05.52. The 200 free relay, featuring the same four swimmers, was ninth in 1:53.09.

Mary Daniel Abner, Annalee Griffith, Melanie Griffith and Abigail Smith were 11th in the 400 freestyle relay (4:59.28).

Kaak took 10th in the 50 freestyle at a 26.09 clip and ninth in 100 breaststroke (1:09.99).

Tyler Bryan wound up ninth for the GC boys in diving with his final score of 228.10.

Paul Laurence Dunbar swept the male, female and combined titles.

The state meet is Feb. 20-22 back at UK.

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