SPORTS>> Piranhas top Bryant-Lonoke team
By Ray Benton
Leader sports editor
The Cabot Piranhas got their first win of the Central Arkansas Swim League season Saturday by barely defeating the Bryant-Lonoke consolidated team 498-480.
Cabot head coach Debbie Skidmore was surprised at how close it was, but was pleased by the effort of her team.
“I thought for a while we might lose,” Skidmore said. “But they pulled it out. There were a lot of highlights. A lot of the kids swam really well.”
Cabot’s Darby Harmon won all five events in the 8-under girls division to lead the way for the Piranhas. Harmon not only won the events, she improved her status from bronze swimmer to gold swimmer in three of the five events, including the freestyle, backstroke and butterfly, and to silver swimmer in the other two.
Lonoke’s Kayla McGhee won all five events she swam in the 6-under division, and had the best time in four of the five.
She was the only swimmer above the bronze level of the backstroke when the day began, so she won the silver backstroke race. But her time was beaten by Cabot’s Caitlyn Cun-ningham in the bronze race. Cabot’s Elaine Helpenstill also improved to silver in the backstroke and finished with the third best time overall.
McGee did have the fastest times in the freestyle, breaststroke, butterfly and kickboard races, and took first place in all four events.
Riley Young finished just be-hind her teammate Harmon in the backstroke, and moved up to the Silver level with her time of 27.69.
Harmon, Alex Caple and Payton Binns made for a 1-2-3 Cabot finish in the butterfly.
The Bryant team dominated the 10-under division, but Cabot nullified that by doing the same in the 12-under girls class.
Bryant’s Megan Matthews managed to slip into a plethora of point-scoring Cabot 12-year olds that was led by standout Megan Owens.
Owens won the gold indepen-dent Medley race, while Faith Blair and Jenni Vaughan finished first and third in the Silver. Erin Loraditch, Emma Fulham and Rachel Moore, all from Cabot, finished one, two and three in the bronze IM.
Owens and Blair took first and second in the Gold freestyle. Matthews took first in the silver race, but Vaughan and Stephenie Odom were right behind. The Cabot quartet of Rebekah Koon, Amanda Baltz and Fulham and Loraditch finished first through fourth in the bronze freestyle.
Owens won the gold race in the backstroke, but her time was bested by Bryant’s Matthews in the Silver race. Blair and Baltz took second and third in the Silver backstroke, while Koon won the bronze race.
Cabot put three gold swimmers in the girls 12-under breaststroke, and they finished one, two and three. Stephenie Odom won the event with Owens and Blair not far behind.
Vaughan and Loraditch finished in the top two spots in the bronze breaststroke, while Lonoke’s Kristen Wood took third. Those three, plus Cabot’s Katie Burchfield and Rachel Moore all moved up to the silver level with their times in the event.
Blair won the gold division butterfly with Owens coming in second and Matthews third.
Loraditch, Odom and Baltz finished in the top three spots in the bronze butterfly race.
Cabot’s Ashley Baird had the best times in every event in the 14-under girls competition, while Vicki Lovelette turned in the best times in four of the five events in 16-under races.
Lonoke’s Mindy James beat out Lovelette in the IM, and both swimmers moved up to the gold level in the race.
Dylan Owens won every event for Cabot in the 6-under boys division. John Santiago and Michael Rakoski, along with Lonoke’s Brandon Herecamp and Jeffrey Riggs, did most of the damage in the 14-under boys division.
Cabot will host its first meet this year when Lakewood visits the Piranhas at the Jacksonville Community Center. Lonoke will go back on the road when it visits Sherwood.