SMAC continues best season ever

By Staff Reports | Jan 12, 2017
Photo by: Donated From left, SMAC’s Mason MacDonald, Pelham Wagenseil, Johnny Darguzas, Eric Gomez, Glenna Whaley, Riley Laursen and Scott Simmons.

The 100 member Waynesville-based Smoky Mountain Aquatic Club is currently in the midst of one of its best season since it began 15 years ago.
“The team tracks success at the individual level,” says SMAC Head Coach Charlie McCanless. “To date, the team has dropped over 3,000 seconds.”
In addition to competing in meets at the local and regional level, SMAC athletes traveled to Christiansburg, Virginia to compete in the Hokie Invite, Dec. 11-13.
“They crushed it, couldn’t have done much better,” said McCanless.
Having trained up to 160,000 yards since in the 3.5 weeks since the team’s previous meet in Greenville, SMAC athletes were poised to dominate as they headed into the Hokie Invite.
SMAC swam away with 9 of the Top 10 finishes, 20 races in the finals session, 4 new senior sectional cuts, seven new North Carolina Championship time standards earned and had many breakthrough performances, while dropping 266.15 seconds.
SMAC’s Johnny Darguzas, Glenna Whaley, Mason MacDonald and Trinity Wenzel all had top ten finishes in their age groups. SMAC members have aspirations of being top 24 in the state and these were serious strides in that direction.
Notable swims were: Darguzas (100 fly, 54.04, 2nd, SMAC all-time 17-18 age group), MacDonald (50 free, 22.04, 3rd, SMAC all-time 17-18 age group), Whaley (100 breast, 1:12.96, 3rd, SMAC all-time 17-18 age group), Wenzel (50 breast, 36.44, 3rd, SMAC all-time 11-12 age group), Jaden Gibson (50 free, 34.44, 1st, SMAC all-time 8U age group).  
The team has high aspirations for its’ members, goals they demand of themselves and each other.
“We work hard every day,” said Darguzas. “We want to go fast, faster than anyone on the team has ever gone. I can’t say we’d be where we are today without each other.”
This weekend, SMAC athletes are looking to continue their successful season as they head into the Novant Health Invitational in Charlotte.
“The meet is fast,” said McCanless. “The competition will be the fiercest we’ve seen all season. But I like our chances. Our team thrives in a competitive atmosphere. The kind of breakthroughs we’d like to see are just around the corner. The competition at the meet will surly bring out the best in us.”
SMAC has been successful at the local level as well, competing both in Waynesville and Asheville, having members earn multiple top ten finishes while dropping copious amounts of time.
“Our 12-and-under program at SMAC has one of the highest rates of improvement in the state,” said McCanless, “each member improving by averages over 10 percent in both breaststroke and butterfly and over eight percent in all other disciplines.”