KINGSPORT — Accomplishing a difficult feat once could be considered a fluke, but doing the same thing again means you’re probably doing something right.
On Saturday, the Dobyns-Bennett girls swimming and diving team posted a second consecutive victory in the Northeast Tennessee regional swimming championships at the Kingsport Aquatic Center.
The Lady Indians posted 533 points and got standout performances from double-event winners Libby Russum and Kassidy McGuire.
“The whole team stepped up tonight,” D-B coach Nathan Love said. “Hats off to all these kids that are out there right now swimming in this delayed season.”
Russum in particular has had a standout season for the Tribe. She has broken records that have been standing for a number of years, including some by one of the most decorated swimmers in state history, Brooke Ward.
The junior further solidified her place amongst the D-B greats with a meet record in the 100-yard freestyle (52.14) and another win in the 50 free (24.09.
“Brooke Ward held a lot of records and she’s one of the most decorated swimmers to ever come out of Tennessee,” Love said. “To see Libby break Brooke’s records is saying a lot.”
McGuire — also a junior — won the 100 fly in a new meet record of 57.50 and picked up one more victory in the 200 IM (2:16.85).
Both were also part of the record-setting 200 freestyle relay in 1:40.11. The Tribe broke the previous record that was held by Science Hill since 2016.
The Lady Hilltoppers didn’t go down without a fight, though, tallying 513 points.
Sophomore Cassie Lowe came through again and again with wins in the 100 freestyle (1:56.46) and 100 backstroke (58.97).
Where the Tribe perhaps won the meet was in the relays, where everything is worth double points. D-B took two of the three titles that were up for grabs.
The one relay that Science Hill did come away with was the 400 freestyle as Lowe, Nicole Liu, Desi Collins and Emily Beaird finished with a time of 3:46.30.
One notable winner was Volunteer’s Ellie McLain in the 100 breaststroke in 1:11.75. She had been hanging around 1:15 all season and cut a massive amount of time off of her personal best to become just the second regional champ for the Lady Falcons.
Other notable victors included Kingsport Area Swim Team’s Anna Johnson winning a thrilling 500 freestyle race in the closing laps in 5:26.12. Science Hill’s Collins battled with her for most of the race and came within a second of Johnson by finishing in 5:26.97.
The diving championships took place Friday and Science Hill junior Grace Powell was first with a score of 409.55.
The boys regionals will be on tap on Sunday with prelims beginning at 9 a.m. and finals getting underway at 5:30 p.m.
“The guys are going to have to perform perfect races,” Love said. “The guys have been breaking school records all year, too. It’ll be fun to watch.”