Leader Blues

Thursday, July 27, 2006

SPORTS >> Sherwood earns MOC crown

IN SHORT: The Sharks won their second Centeral Arkansas Swim league championship while the Cabot Piranhas finished an impressive third despite being a smaller team.

Leader sports writer

The Sherwood Sharks followed up their third straight Central Arkansas Swim League title with their second consecutive Meet of Champs victory at the Donaghey Student Center at UALR on Saturday. The Sharks dominated the event, winning by 80.5 points over second-place finishers Maumelle.

The Sharks finished with a total of 451.5 points, compared to 371 for the Marlins. Cabot finished a comfortable third in the event, with 267.5 points. Otter Creek finished fourth with 221, and Lakewood was fifth with 171 points. Bryant, YMCA and Lonoke filled out the remainder of the finishing order. Bryant had a respectable 131 total points, but YMCA and newcomers Lonoke Shark-rockets both struggled in the meet. Both teams failed to break 100 points for the competition.

The Sharks dominated in most of the age groups. Sherwood ended up with team high averages in four of the seven age groups.

Cabot took team high in the 18-U girls group thanks to a multiple record-breaking performance from Vicki Lovellette.

Lakewood’s Preston Strobel was the only swimmer to break more records than Lovellette with five. Lovellette set new best times in the 50 yd. freestyle, backstroke, butterfly and the 100 yd. IM. The breaststroke was the only event in which Lovellette did not set a new best time, but she still won the event to go undefeated at the meet.

She was also at the top of the individual rankings board for the 17-18 female group at the end of the day with 25 points. Teammate Tina Foster ended up third in the individual rankings with 19 points.

The Sharks had several members break records in the event. Jessie Garrison, Delaney Haralson, Sheridan Arnold and away with MOC records after it was all said and done.

Garrison tied Cabot’s Lovellette with four new records including the girls 10-U 50 yd. freestyle, backstroke, butterfly and 100 yd. IM. The breaststroke was the only 10-U girls event in which Garrison did not set a new best time; that honor went to Arnold, who put down a time of 40.65 to set a new meet record in the event. Haralson’s record-setting time came in the girls 8-U 50 yd. IM with a time of 42.48. Christopher Heye came away with new records in three events, the boys 10-U 50 yd. backstroke, breaststroke, and 100 yd. IM.

Garrison, Heye and Haralson also finished at the top of the individual rankings for their age groups. Haralson took the 8-U girls division with 19 points, while Garrison dominated the 10-U girls with 23 points.

Teammates Leila Kerr and Nikki Sanders were behind Garr-ison in the rankings with 13 points and 10 points respectively. Heye also took the 10-U boys group easily with 23 individual points. Braden Binns of the Piranhas made his way to the top of the individual rankings in the boys 6-U division. Binns finished with 20 points ahead of Sherwood’s Ian Heye, who finished a strong second with 13 individual points.

“This has been one of our best meets ever,” Piranhas coach Keith McAfee said. “We won all of our dual meets, so we wanted to end the year with a Meet of Champs win.”

Sharks’ parent representative Mary Jo Heye was also elated over Saturday’s performance. Heye had praise for both the kids and coaches, and the solid job done by both all year. “This is a strong group of kids,” Heye said. “We have a good ratio of swimmers to coaches. Coach McAfee is probably the most beloved coach in the state, he is always positive, and the kids look up to him.

Christopher Heye all came