Science Hill edges D-B in overall meet, teams look to battle all season

Jeff Birchfield • Nov 28, 2018 at 7:11 PM

Science Hill and Dobyns-Bennett were both winners Tuesday night at the Freedom Hall Civic Center pool, setting up what appears to be a season-long battle between the two swimming and diving programs.

The Hilltoppers won the overall meet 195-171 and retained the Brass Urn trophy that goes to the winner of the combined team score. Science Hill won 109-74 in the boys' competition while the Indians were victorious 97-86 on the girls' side.

"This was a great, very competitive meet. I think that it gives us a good yardstick on both sides to measure our progress so far this season," Science Hill coach Chris Coraggio said. "Obviously, Dobyns-Bennett has a strong team this year. For us to repeat as regional champions, we will need to buckle down and get back to work."

Now the goals are clear with Science Hill hoping to add to its record of 13 straight combined championships, while Dobyns-Bennett is trying to win its first overall title since 2004.


Eight Science Hill swimmers won individual races, highlighted by Haley Altman's victory in the 100-meter breaststroke. Her time of 1:13.46 was a Science Hill record, breaking Jenna Street's mark from the 1996-97 season. Altman is racing at the USA Nationals in Greensboro, North Carolina, on Thursday and in the USA Junior Nationals the following week.

Other winners included Morgan Misenar (100 and 200-meter freestyle races), Lexi Gay, Lexi Gay (100 butterfly) and Molly Bowman (100 backstroke).

Two boys doubled up with wins. They were Landon Potter (200 freestyle and 100 butterfly) and Dustin Niebauer (200 individual medley and 400 freestyle). Other winners included Luke Barnes (100 backstroke) and Nicholas Dorr (diving).

Dorr has battled back and forth with teammate Nick Van Eaton at most competitions.

Others who should be key contributors include Megan Barnes, who has shown diversity in racing different events, and Jayden Anderson, who is coming on, and Nour Shams, who was part of the 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams which won Region 1 titles in January.

Science Hill's swimmers will race in the Southwest Virginia High School Invitational on Saturday, while its divers will compete in the East Tennessee Classic, hosted by Dobyns-Bennett.


There was plenty to celebrate for the Indians, who closed the overall gap significantly from last season. Indians coach Nathan Love said the strong showing gives his team plenty of motivation.

"This is the first time we've been with them in a long time. Back in 2006, my guys won the regional meet," Love said. "We've been getting closer and closer and our girls finally got them."

Top performers included diver Kyandi Lane, Grace Allen, who won two races, and freshman Libby Russum. Allen holds several school records at the D-B pool. Both the 400 freestyle and medley relay teams scored wins.

Individuals who stood out for the boys included Shane Estes, who swept the 50 and 100 freestyle races, sophomore Jonathan Lay and senior Anthony Walker. Marcus Taylor also performed well in the 100 butterfly, and Jack Allen won the 100 breaststroke.

Dobyns-Bennett will host the 31st annual East Tennessee Classic this Saturday at the Kingsport Aquatic Center.