Younger 'Smackers' stay in competition mode

By Staff Reports | Dec 26, 2012
Photo by: File photo SMAC members are training hard through the Christmas holiday.

While the senior swimmers for the Smoky Mountain Aquatic Club (SMAC) were busy tackling the Ironman competition, the younger swimmers for the team were still hard at work competing at the Asheville Swim Club’s Quad Meet held at the Asheville School on Dec. 15.

The younger groups, made up mostly of 14 year-old or younger athletes, wasted little time letting the other three teams know they were there to compete. More than half of the 25 swimmers who competed notched a top-ten finish.

Kiana Schumacher (13), Stephen Stiles (8), Stephen Wenzel (12) and Trinity Wenzel (8) led the team with second place finishes. Trinity got her second-place finish in the 25-yard butterfly; Stephen Wenzel got second in the 50-yard freestyle; Stiles in the 25-yard butterfly; and Schumacher in the 200-yard individual medley. All swimmers cut time in their respective event, with Schumacher knocking off 20 seconds in her IM. She also finished with a third, fifth and sixth-place finish, while Stiles added a third and eighth-place to round out his day.

Cora Dodson (14) also had an excellent meet by bringing home three top-10 finishes, her best being a fourth-place showing in the 200-yard IM.

Abigail Jones (8), who is one of the youngsters on the team, notched a third-place finish in the 25-yard butterfly. That was one of her best showings of the year, according to SMAC Head Coach Andy Wagner.

Liam McLeod continued his string of good races by finishing fifth in the 200-yard backstroke. He also had two other top-ten finishes on the day.

Alexander Flowe (8) hit the water with a purpose and landed three top-10 finishes, including a fourth-place finish in the 25-yard butterfly. He finished sixth in both the 25-yard freestyle and the 25-yard backstroke. Both his siblings, Elizabeth (12) and Mackenzie (12) also had good showings with Mackenzie claiming a seventh-place finish in the 50-yard backstroke.

Up and comers, Marshall Graves (9), Harrison Hall (10), and James Morrow (13) had a solid meet with several top-ten finishes. Morrow landed in the top-10 three times, while Hall and Graves managed to knock on the top-10 door several times.

As has been the custom throughout the year, Kevin Wenzel (10) and Stephen Wenzel both had solid performances. Kevin had two sixth-place finishes, a fourth and a second, while Stephen knocked out a ninth, sixth and fourth in addition to his second-place finish in the freestyle.

Faith Hannah (11) finished out the top-ten barrage with a ninth, seventh and fourth- place finish, the latter coming in the 50-yard butterfly.

Others competing in the meet were Craig Elke; Ellery Byrd; Savannah Jones; Robert Lowe; Erin Springer; Angelique Tinklepaugh, who placed seventh in the 50- yard freestyle, Patrick Trantham, who notched a sixth-place finish in the 50-yard backstroke; Lillian Varvoutis and Katherine Wimmer.

“Overall I thought the kids swam really good,” said Wagner. “It was fun to have a meet where the youngsters were the entire focus. I saw a lot of good things from their swims today.”

SMAC will continue to train through the holiday season, with their next competition coming on Jan.18-20 at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Those interested in becoming a member of SMAC, contact Coach Wagner at 865- 806-1776, or email him at