Sharks take four first place victories

Contributed by Karen Miller

A warm summer evening paved the way for the Lake Monticello Sharks (LMST) to meet up at the Farmington Country Club (FCC) pool Wednesday (June 27). The swimmers were excited and ready to go despite just coming off a meet against the City Swordfish Monday night.
The boys and girls age 13-14 and the boys and girls age 15-18 kicked off the meet by sweeping the 200-meter medley relay events. LMST took four first place victories.

The meet continued with freestyle events, in which Cole Gustafson, 12, brought home a first place finish in the boys’ 50-meter freestyle event, with Liam Wells, 12, taking a third place finish. The older boys swam the 50-meter freestyle and took home first, second, and third place finishes for LMST. Those swimmers were Austin Fairbanks, 14; Tyler Harris, 14; and Jacob Ondek, 14.

After the freestyle events came the breaststroke, in which girls age eight and under swept the 25-meter event, claiming the first, second, third, and fourth place finishes. Those swimmers were Charlotte Gifford, 8; Lila Kate Robinson, 8; Kerrington Kossack, 8; and Lauren Hockman, 7. The older girls followed, taking home first, second, and third place finishes for LMST in the 50-meter race. Those swimmers were Abigayle Harlow, 15; Zoe Moore, 18; and Olivia Strickland, 17.

Lake Monticello Swim Team

LMST had a strong showing in backstroke races with Gabriella Gray, 7, and Ann Kraft, 8, finishing first and third for the 25-meter backstroke. Julia Tomaras and Abbie Ford, both 12, finished with a first and second place in the 50-meter event. While 15-year-olds Hunter Strickland, Nathaniel Smith, and Owen Strickland took first, second, and third place in their 50-meter race. Olivia Strickland, 17, and Emma Vernon, 15, finished out the backstroke races, taking first and second place for LMST in their age group.

The meet continued with the butterfly races, in which Lila Kate Robinson and Ann Kraft placed second and third (tie) in the 25-meter butterfly. Ivan Patchett, 10, took third place in his 50-meter race while Brandon Watkins, 12, and Hayden Bridge, 12, placed second and third in their 50-meter event. Emily Farist, 12, placed second, Tyler Harris took first, and Austin Fairbanks took second. Allyson Lounsbury, 14, and Abigayle Harlow both took first place, and Ava Amato, 13, and Hunter Strickland took second place. All of these finishes contributed many points toward the Sharks’ final meet score.
The final score of 504.5 (LMST) to 573.5 (FCC) was a narrow loss for the Sharks but a valiant effort considering the Shark swimmers competed against the City Swordfish just two nights earlier due to a forced weather postponement from the week before. That June 25 meet resulted in a win for the Sharks, who took the victory home by just 15 points.

It has proved to be a very fun and full week at the Shark Tank. With July 4 landing on a Wednesday this year, the Sharks swam another home meet on Monday (July 2), making that three swim meets in only eight days. Head Coach Carly Csapo said, “I am so proud of how the kids handled two big meets in one week, leaving with a win and many best times. It has been many years since we last defeated City and it feels good to know that our team now has a competitive edge in Division II.”

Special congratulations go to the Shark Swimmers of the Week Audrey Harlow and Nicholas Gardella. LMST also won another 100 spirit points toward the Jefferson Swim League Spirit Award, which is awarded to the team with the most spirit at the Champs Swimming Event July 27-28. This past week’s theme was teamwork, and the winning picture won with 45 social media votes. Also congratulations to LMST’s gold achievers, earned by swimmers who achieve the challenging time standards set by the JSL in 2015 based on championship meet top times in each event:

Julia Tomaras: Individual medley (IM), freestyle (free), breaststroke (breast);
Abby Harlow: IM, butterfly (fly), breast;
Lila Kate Robinson: Free;
Gabriella Gray: Free;
Cole Gustafson: Free, breast, backstroke (back);
Ally Lounsbury: Free, fly;
Luke Gustafson: Free;
Nathan Smith: Back;
Brenna Rea: Fly;
Aiden Kraft: Fly;
Ava Amato: Fly;
Meghan Dech: Fly;
Hunter Strickland: Fly, long free, back;
Ivan Patchett: Breast;
Emily Farist: Fly; and
Grace Farist: Fly.

LMST coaches continue to be proud of how the swimmers are accomplishing time improvements as well as developing sportsmanship and team spirit. The Sharks have much to be proud of so far this season and it’s sure to be another fun and exciting upcoming week at the pool.

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