SPORTS>> Piranhas place 65 swimmers into meet
By Ray Benton
Leader sports editor
The Cabot Piranhas fell to the Otter Creek Otters Saturday in the final regular season meet of the Central Arkansas Swim League, and finished 1-5 in the six-week season.
Despite the record, it was still a great season for Cabot, as 65 Piranhas qualified for the CASL Meet of Champions that will be held this Saturday at UALR.
“I think it was a good season considering we have so many disadvantages to the other teams,” Cabot head coach Debbie Skidmore said. “We’re the only team in the league that doesn’t have an indoor pool. Everyone else has a great facility with a full-size (50-yards) pools, and we have to practice in a 20-yard outdoor pool. It’s just too small and too crowded to really teach the kids everything they need. If we had the advantages everyone else has, we would have done a lot better. The commitment is there from everyone except the outside people. The swimmers, the coaches and the parents all do a wonderful job, but the proposal to build a pool didn’t pass. We’re going to start having off-season practices in Jacksonville.”
The score in Saturday’s meet against the league runners up wasn’t close. The Otters won the meet 826-464, but it wasn’t without some Piranha highlights.
Several Cabot swimmers recorded their best times and moved up in classification.
Six-year-old Caitlin Cunningham won the silver division backstroke, and her 31.56 time in the event moved her up to gold level.
In the same event, Emily Harness won the bronze division race and moved up to silver with a time of 38.72.
Otter Creek’s Kara Moser won four of the five gold events in the 6-under age group, but Elaine Helpenstill won the 25-yard kickboard race.
Darby Harmon won the 8-under gold backstroke with a time of 24.44, but teammate Riley Young joined her at the gold level by winning the silver race with a 24.03.
Alex Caple moved up to silver in the breaststroke by winning the bronze race with a time of 31.50.
Ten-year old Piranha Micah Odom won all five top-level events in the 10-under girls division. In the 12-under girls category, where Cabot is deepest with talent, Megan Owens won three events while teammate Stephenie Odom took first in the breaststroke.
Otter Creek’s Erin Moser won the 12-under butterfly to stop a Cabot sweep of the age group.
Otter Creek dominated the girls 14-under age group, but Cabot’s Vicki Lovelette won four of the five gold events in the 16-under division.
Only Lauren Mesker of the Otters stopped a Lovelette sweep by taking the butterfly race.
Otter Creek dominated al-most all of the boys action. 14-year old Piranha Michael Rakoski, however, dominated his age group.
Rakoski was the only Cabot swimmer to win all five gold-level events in his age group.
The MOC will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday morning at UALR’s Donaghey Center.
Skidmore believes she has a few swimmers that are capable of breaking league records this Saturday.
“We’ve got several kids I think can do it.
“I know we’ve got some that are already close, and have already beaten the record times. You have to do it in the Meet of Champs for it to count though.”
Owens, Ashley Baird and Rakoski are among the potential record breakers.