SMAC dominates at N.C. Senior ChampionshipsDarguzas sparks teammates with impressive feat
GREENSBORO — The North Carolina Senior Champs Swimming and Diving Championships, was one for the record books.
This was the first time since 2011, the Smoky Mountain Aquatic Club’s (SMAC) boys and girls scored points, dominated their heats and performed above expectations when it mattered most.
On Friday, SMAC saw one of the most inspiring displays of courage in team history as Johnny Darguzas pulled off an incredible feat that inspired the team for the rest of the weekend.
Darguzas was in heat 13 of 18 in the 100 fly and heat 1 in the following event, the 400 IM. This meant that after his first event, he was going to have less than seven minutes rest before his 400 IM. He was clocked at an impressive 52.5 in the 100 fly event, which earned him a second place spot in the SMAC record books and an 12th place seed for the night swim.
After only seven minutes of rest he had to compete in the 400 IM. He quickly got out in front and finished with a 4:11, which earned himself a chance to compete later that evening and finished just a handful of seconds away from a Futures Championship cut in both races. After that, the SMAC swimmers began to drop seconds off their best times as Glenna Whaley rebounded from her 100 fly disqualification to dominate her 400 IM with a 10 second drop and Mason MacDonald crushed his 100 fly dropped two seconds off his personal best time.
The Saturday morning events were highlighted by a swim long overdue as Whaley won her 100 back heat and dropped two seconds (59.16) off her personal best time.
MacDonald followed and earned himself a night swim in the 50 free, while Eric Gomez dropped three more seconds in his 500 free and touched in for a personal-best 57.10 in the 100 back.
Stephen Wenzel got himself a best time in his 50 free and Darguzas destroyed his 500 free, dropping 12 seconds and earning a spot in the finals.
Saturday night marked the first night that SMAC had three separate athletes competing in finals at N.C. Senior Champs since 2010.
On Sunday, the team completed three days of great races. Wenzel started the day with a personal-best 50.7 in the 100 free. Darguzas’ 200 back time of 1:55.7 was the second best all-time in SMAC history, while Gomez’s 2:04 in the 200 back was a new “Champs” cut. Whaley’s four second drop in her 200 back pushed her closer to a Futures’ time standard, while Riley Laursen made the trip and helped the team earn a new all-time club record in the 400 medley relay.
SMAC is based in Waynesville and a USA Swim Club established in 2000.
For more information, call head coach Charlie McCanless at 704-737-2333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.