Science Hill dominates regional swim meet

Tanner Cook • Updated Jan 20, 2018 at 11:08 PM

KINGSPORT — A tradition-rich swimming and diving program lost none of its luster this weekend.

The Northeast Tennessee Regional meet wrapped up on Saturday night at the Kingsport Aquatic Center, where the Science Hill dynasty took home both the boys and the girls titles by wide margins over Dobyns-Bennett.

The Hilltoppers totaled 636.5 points while the Lady ’Toppers tallied 564 points. The team also won the combined title.

“Each championship is unique. This one is really satisfying because of the way the team dynamics came together this year,” Science Hill head coach Chris Coraggio said. “We went through some growth as a team. This really showcased what the kids can do. All but two people on our team scored points for us at this meet.”

Going into the finals, Science Hill had 25 championship heat finalists on the girls side, representing 31 percent of the field. The boys had 29 championship heat finalists (36 percent).

The rival Indians had an army of their own, with 17 finalists in the girls events and 20 in the boys.

Two of the more notable accomplishments for Science Hill were finishing first through fourth place — Kodee Eads, Luke Barnes, James Bernedo, Ryan Huber — in the boys 100-yard backstroke and Eads also notching a top 200 individual medley finish.

Haley Altman (girls 50 freestyle, 100 breaststroke), Morgan Misenar (girls 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle) and Jake McMackin (boys 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle) helped build Science Hill’s riches with two victories apiece in individual events.

Lexi Gay (girls 200 individual medley), Reece Bradford (boys 500 freestyle) and Bernedo (boys 100 butterfly) each added a first-place showing to the mix for the regional champions.

The Hilltoppers posted relay wins in the 200 freestyle (McMackin, Eads, William Peterson, Nour Shams), 400 freestyle (Shams, Bernedo, Barnes, Bradford) and 200 medley (Eads, Victor Lam, Bernedo, McMackin).

The Lady ’Toppers also ruled those events, with Altman, Julia Davenport, Megan Barnes and Isabel Tomita taking the 200. Misenar, Meagan Gay, Barnes and Tomita won the 400 while the team of Lexi Gay, Altman, Davenport and Misenar prevailed in the 200 medley.

Runner-up efforts by Science Hill were supplied by Tomita (girls 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle), Luke Barnes (boys 100 backstroke, 200 IM), Davenport (girls 100 freestyle), Lexi Gay (girls 100 butterfly), Molly Bowman (girls 200 IM), Bradford (boys 200 freestyle) and Jacob Clemons (boys 500 freestyle).

The Indians finished second in the boys, girls and combined competition. Tennessee High finished in third place in all three as well.

The diving competition was held Friday night at D-B, where Nick Van Eaton placed second for the ’Toppers.

The state swim meet will be in three weeks at the University of Tennessee’s Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville.

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