NORMAL — Shark repellent was of no avail on Sunday as the Normal Parks Swimmin’ Sharks raced to a fourth straight victory in the Twin City Swim Conference meet at Illinois State’s Horton Pool.
The Sharks amassed 2,179.50 points to outdistance the Bloominton-Normal Swim Club (2,022.50) and the 4-S Stingrays (1,712.50). The Marlins Summer Rec (1,638) and General Electric Employees Club (1500.50) rounded out the top five in the eight-team meet.
“At the beginning of the meet I thought it could go any way because there are a lot of teams that are very good,” said Sharks coach Mara Sokan. “But our medley relays started off the event very strong and we just kept the momentum going.”
The Sharks captured six of 11 relay events to open an early lead. Allison Pearson and Steven Fishman then each won three individual events to help them maintain the margin.
Pearson won the girls’ 9-10 year old 25-yard freestyle and breaststroke events, while also capturing the 100-yard IM.
Fishman won the boys’ 15-18 50-yard breaststroke and backstroke, as well as the 100-yard IM.
The Bloomington-Normal Swim Club also had a pair of triple event winners in their attempt to unseat the Sharks. Mara Walker won the girls’ 7-8 25 yard freestyle, butterly and 100-yard IM events. Camden Swigart captured the boys’ 9-10 25-yard butterfly, backstroke and 100-yard IM.
“We always want first, but we’re building up and are going to give them a run for the money in future seasons,” said coach Jennifer Godlewski.
While Godlewski is in her first year as the B-N Swim Club coach, Mariam Schulz was at her final meet as the coach of the third-place Stingrays.
“This has been a hard one for me,” Schulz said. “I’ve been with this team for a very long time (15 years, the last nine as head coach). My children swam through this team since they were very little. I’m going to miss it very much, but I also know that I’m leaving it in good hands and I’ll be back to try and support the team in any way I can.”
Jamie Hessing and Colton Stogner each won three individual events for the Stingrays in helping them to hold off the Marlins for third.
The Marlins’ Paul Isaacs was a triple event winner with victories in the boys’ 6 and under 25 yard freestyle, breaststroke and backstroke races.
No new records were set in the steamy and raucous environment of Sunday’s meet. However Samantha Lighty of the General Electric Employees Club established a pair of new marks in Saturday’s preliminaries.
After setting new records in the events on Saturday, Lighty went on to capture the girls’ 11-12 50-yard freestyle and butterfly races on Sunday, before adding a win in the 100-yard IM.
At the age of 11, Lighty already qualifies for cagey veteran status.
“I’ve been swimming since I was 2,” she said. “My parents were deciding to either put me in gymnastics or swimming and they thought I really should learn how to swim.”
Lighty set records in the same two events a year ago that held up this weekend in the 9-10 age group, as well.
Crestwicke Country Club (723.50 points) finished sixth, the Bloomington Dolphins (581) seventh and Lakeside Country Club Swimming (458.50) eighth.
Complete results are available at www.bnswim