By GAVIN LAPAILLE
Gold Standard Sports Editor
The Fort Knox High School swim team didn’t get 290 points at region like they wanted, but the team still has plenty of reasons to smile.
Two individuals and two relays on the girls side will advance to Pannell Swim Shop/KHSAA State Swimming and Diving Championships at the Ralph Wright Natatorium in Louisville next weekend, pacing the Eagles to a third place finish in the Region Three meet at Russell County High School with 218 points. The boys chipped in with 48 points and a 14th place finish, putting the Eagles in sixth place overall with both scores calculated.
“We did not make the 290 goal, and I’d be really upset if we didn’t swim our best, but we did,” head coach Jonas Sosa said. “Kids were breaking their personal records left and right. We had a fantastic meet. Unfortunately, we’re not the only ones who had a monster meet.”
Sisters Monica and Miriam Smith earned berths to state with third place finishes in the 100-fly and 50-free respectively, and also swam legs for the 200-medley and 200-freestyle relay that landed state bids with fourth place finishes. If the state lineup is the same as region, the Smith sisters will be joined in the 200-medley by Emily Kiphuth and Erika Manning, with Kiphuth and Sabrina Wicker taking part in the 200-free.
The state meet begins Thursday with warm-ups in the pool. The competition starts Friday with preliminaries, and Saturday will be the day the championship heats will be held and where points are scored.
Miriam said the team hopes to make the second day of state, which would mean qualifying in the top 16 Friday.
“Our goal is to make it to day two of state,” Miriam said. “In order to do that we’ll need to drop a lot of time.”
While they didn’t qualify for state, many other Eagles performed admirably at region. Dorothy Tisdel, Shannon Brown, Maria Rogers, Wicker and Kiphuth all had two top-16 finishes, and Kayla Rosko, Christine Wicker, Erika Manning, and Ashby Parmeter had one apiece. On the guys side, Guy Parmeter was fifth in the 100-free and eighth in the 200-IM, and Gezra Idnay came in eighth in the one-meter diving competition.
“Everyone swam really well. It was emotional,” Kiphuth said. “We were happy we broke records, sad we didn’t meet our goals.”
Sosa said he is proud of the way his team performed and is looking forward to what happens this weekend.
“At this point you don’t take anything for granted,” Sosa said. “It’s so special to make the state meet. The state meet is a celebration of swimming. We’re going to enjoy our time together and have fun.”
6. Fort Knox, 266 points
Girls (Individual/Relay Top 8 Finishers)
3. Fort Knox, 218 points
4. Fort Knox, 1:59.54 (Emily Kiphuth, Erika Manning, Monica Smith, Miriam Smith)
3. Miriam Smith, 25.16;
3. Monica Smith, 59.04
4. Fort Knox, 1:48.46 (Miriam Smith, Monica Smith, Sabrina Wicker, Emily Kiphuth)
8. Miriam Smith, 1:08.54
5. Monica Smith, 1:14.17; 6. Emily Kiphuth, 1:17.68; 8. Sabrina Wicker, 1:18.79
7. Fort Knox, 4:08.89 (Maria Rogers, Dorothy Tisdel, Shannon Brown, Maria Grant-Villacorta)
3. Kayla Rosko, 135.20
Boys (Individual/Relay Top 8 Finishers)
14. Fort Knox, 48 points
8. Guy Parmeter, 2:18.73
8. Gezra Idnay, 208.75
5. Guy Parmeter, 54.42