KINGSPORT — Swimmers from Union, Ridgeview and Central high schools have been working hard since practice started in November to prepare for their local meets on their way to district, regional and state competitions.
Ridgeview’s Alyssa Price was suffering from shoulder issues and unable to swim on Saturday. Most recently, she competed at Abingdon Wednesday and set her personal best in two different events: 200 individual medley and the 100 breaststroke.
“The 100 breaststroke is my all-time favorite. I had been stuck at 1:23 all season and I was so close to state. I was just determined to get under that. When I touched the line, I looked at the clock and it was a 1:21. I was ecstatic about that,” said Price.
Central had several high finishers on the day. Seniors Jordan Harrison and Savana Edwards were mentally preparing themselves to do the best they can and make it to post-season competition.
“I haven’t been in the pool much this season, I just have to focus on the technique and push myself,” Edwards said.
“I always focus on what my coach tells me to do and push myself even more than normal. I really want to do my best this year and do the best I can,” Harrison said.
Union standouts Ashley Cusano and Ty Bloomer won both of their individual events Saturday. Both athletes are at the top of their game this season and both have multiple state qualifying times.
“I didn’t do as well as I thought I would at Abingdon last week. I was tired from the previous meets. I am hoping to make up for that today. I want to set that personal best and get below a 49.9,” said Bloomer.
“I have to have a good mindset going in,” Cusano said when talking about trying to attain another personal best time. “I usually just focus to all of the training I have done prior to the race. It’s never really about personal best for me. It’s just always about improving overall.”
Head coach Dart Luce-Edwards recently put his team through a grueling weeklong practice before their break around the Christmas holiday. But, now the team is back and constantly working trying to attain their dreams.
“We had a really good day in the water. Great swims, good times and positive things to take away for practice as we head toward the final stretch of our regular season,” Luce-Edwards said.
“We’re still seeing personal best times and major improvements by our younger swimmers and that progression inspires our veterans to continue pushing,” Luce-Edwards continued.