SMAC continues busy season
The Smoky Mountain Aquatic Club (SMAC) continued its short-course season by competing in the Raleigh Swim Association Reindeer Meet Nov. 30 – Dec. 2.
In that meet, several SMAC swimmers came away with top-10 finishes, and overall head coach Andy Wagner was pleased with the effort of the swimmers.
“Overall this was a great performance from our athletes. At this point in the season, things don’t always go as planned, but this was a great learning experience for our kids in taking things to the next level. We are really improving underwater and around the walls in general, so I expect to see some great swimming as we continue to tie things together.”
Although the meet was a championship-style meet, meaning there were preliminary heats first, then the top finishers moved on to the finals in the evening, SMAC still held their own against a strong field from the eastern part of the state, along with several teams from central Virginia.
Leading the way for SMAC was Katy Stringfield, London Schumacher, Madison Dietrich and Kiana Schumacher on the women’s side, while Collin Purrman led the men’s team with five top-ten finishes, including winning the 1650-yard freestyle with a time of 16:42.63. Jack MacDonald also poured in a solid performance by notching four top-ten finishes, including a fourth-place finish in the 200-yard backstroke; and fifth-place finishes in the 100-yard freestyle and the 100-yard breaststroke.
“I thought the older boys on the team did about how I expected they would,” said Wagner. “They faced some pretty good swimmers here, and they responded with some solid swims. We still have a lot of room to improve, but this weekend was certainly progress towards where we’re trying to be.”
London Schumacher, who posted top-ten finishes in all nine of her events, won the 1650-yard freestyle by posting a time of 17:29.46. She also won the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:10.93. “London had a solid meet,” said Wagner. “I learned a lot about how to get her prepared for a meet like this, so I am excited about the future.”
Stringfield posted eight top-ten finishes, and had a winning time of 4:59.64 in the 500-yard freestyle. “Overall, Katy had a solid weekend,” said Wagner. “Again, this is a process for me as I learn these swimmers, and I learned a lot watching Katy this weekend. I anticipate much more success for her in the coming months.”
The younger Schumacher, Kiana, had an outstanding meet, garnering eight top-ten finishes, while improving her times in all but one of her events. She placed second in the 50-yard backstroke and the 200-yard freestyle. Dietrich, who Wagner says is “coming on strong” rounded out the top-ten barrage with four of her own, including a fourth-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke and a sixth-place finish in the 200-yard individual medley.
In the younger group, the Wenzel brothers continued their success in the pool by claiming eight top-ten finishes between them. Their younger sister, Trinity also claimed five top-ten finishes.
“Our 12 year-old and under groups had a fantastic meet! I couldn’t be more proud to see our youngsters make so many crucial improvements in their stroke techniques and overall racing,” said Wagner.
Wagner went on to say that, “although there was a bunch of competition at this meet, and even though we’re not where we’re going to be in a few months, it was really awesome to see them advance the way they did.”
Other SMAC athletes who competed included Megan Jameson; Abigail Jones; Annie Ly; Vanessa Ly; Hannah McLeod; Liam McLeod; James Morrow; Anna Catherine Nazemi; Erin Peterson; and Angelique Tinklepaugh.