NORMAL — While a dozen records fell, one thing remained constant in Sunday's Twin City Swim Conference meet at Illinois State's Horton Pool.
For the fifth consecutive year, the Normal Parks Swimmin' Sharks dominated the meet with their 2,339.50 points easily outdistancing the Four Seasons Stingrays (2,069.50).
"We've been working really hard all summer long and I have a core group of kids, my seniors especially, that have been with me for a really long time," said Sharks' coach Mara Sokan. "I've got five of them that have been swimming since they were five years old and it was an awesome meet for them. Some of them broke records and did really well."
Steven Fishman, 18, led the Sharks with record-breaking performances in the Boys 15-18 50-yard breaststroke, 50-yard backstroke and 100-yard IM. Fishman was joined by Adam Drury, John Remmes and Mike Weisenfelder on the record-setting 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay teams that helped the Sharks to the convincing win.
Swimmers are allowed to compete in the conference through the summer after their senior year in high school.
Like Fishman, Drury and Remmes are 18. Their relay events were held toward the close of the meet.
"I was in tears the last two events," Sokan said. "It was really hard. They've been with me a long time."
Brianna Hines, 17, also broke a pair of records for the Sharks. Hines lopped nearly 1.3 seconds off her record-setting standard in Saturday's preliminaries to set a mark of 29.83 on Sunday in the Girls 15-18 50-yard breaststroke. She also set a new mark in the 100-yard IM.
The runner-up Stingrays were paced by Colton Stogner, 14, and his three meet records.
Stogner turned in a record-breaking performance in the Boys 13-14 50-freestyle, 50-yard butterfly and 100 IM.
Camden Swigart, 10, won the Boys 9-10 25-yard backstroke in record fashion to also help the Stingrays improve on last year's third-place finish.
"I think our team this year was probably the strongest we've had in a while," said Stingrays coach Alex Hembra. "I'm excited to see most of our swimmers coming back next year."
The Marlins Summer Rec finished a third with 1,777.50 points, edging the General Electric Employees Club Eels (1,734) for the spot.
Samantha Lighty, 12, kept the Eels close with meet records in the Girls 11-12 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard IM.
"(Lighty) is fantastic and really has it all together," said Eels coach Barb Dennis, a 30-year veteran of the meet.
"I've been really working," said Lighty, who will be a seventh-grader at Parkside Junior High and has also been a part of the Redbird Swim Club for the past three years. There, she practices twice a day.
"It's a lot of training, but it's also fun and I love the environment," Lighty said.
Crestwicke Country Club (1026.50) finished fifth, followed by the Bloomington Parks Dolphins (536).
The event was held at a steamy and boisterous Horton Pool with the family nature of the weekend epitomized by Susan Fischer, Dennis' mother, who was attending her 37th straight Twin City Conference meet.
"My kids decided at seven and five that they wanted to try swim team and we got into it," Fischer said. "My (late) husband (Richard) became an official and I just helped wherever I could. I've got three kids that swam and, at one time or another, coached and I have four grandchildren that are swimming this year. It's fun and I love it."