By Steven Kochersperger
The Big Eight Conference Swim Championships were held this week in Jasper and the Mount Vernon Wet Cats had very high hopes coming in.
Those hopes were realized Saturday as both the boys and girls teams were crowned champions of the Big Eight Conference.
The boys have struggled this year to find wins but that was not the case Saturday. The boys team swam very well picking up some very important wins giving them enough points to take the crown. The boys got things off to a great start with a win in the 200 IM relay race. Mount Vernon’s team consisting of Travis Harris, Wade Mobley, Jacob Poole, and Austin Colson took the victory with a time of 1:42:29, a full minute ahead of second place Jasper. Jacob Poole went on to also get wins in the 200 freestyle, and 100 freestyle races to help the Wildcats on Saturday.
Senior Wade Mobley took a win in the 100 butterfly race and the 100 breaststroke while Colson scored points with his win in the 100 backstroke race. The boys ended the day with a win in the 400 freestyle race to put them on top and make them champions of the conference.
Overall, the Wildcats ended the day with 383 points. Jasper ended up second with 290, Vincennes Lincoln third with 266, and Boonville fourth with 154.
The girls team also came into Jasper hoping to swim well and come out champions. They did just that as they mopped up the competition to be crowned champs of the Big Eight Conference once again.
The girls were led once again by Kelsey Turner. Turner won her races, the 200 Freestyle and 100 butterfly, to gain the points to put Mount Vernon sqarely ahead Saturday.
Freshman Claudia Crawford added two victories in the 200 IM and the 100 breaststroke as well. Other victories for the girls’ team were Clara Baggett in the 50 freestyle as well as the 500 freestyle, Drew Glover in the 100 Freestyle, and the relay teams in the 200 medley, 200 freestyle, and 400 freestyle races.
The divers were also among those who had great showings as well Saturday. Wildcat Katie McDonald continued her great season winning the girls diving competition with a score of 340.45. This is over 50 points better than her overall best diving score. Amanda Duckworth ended up third in the conference diving finals while Jillian Schirtzinger ended up fourth. All this together helped the Wildcats girls’ team win the Conference and set themselves up for the sectional coming up next week at Castle High School.
And as sectionals approach, the boys and girls swim teams are champions and that is something to be extra proud of.
“We are proud of the year that we have had so far,” Wildcat coach Larry Zoller said. “We are getting better and our freshman are really improving. The kids we have swimming this year give us depth that we need and our swim club has done great giving us great quality swimmers. We are happy with where we are at and are looking forward to sectionals.”
By Steven Kochersperger
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