Some of them have been swimming for years, while others have been in the water for only one season. But they seem to agree on one thing: The time has flown by.
The final regular season for the Boyle County and Danville swim teams Tuesday at Boles Natatorium was also the last home meet for nine seniors who might be ready to move on but aren’t quite ready to believe their time in high school swimming is almost over.
“It’s gone by real quick,” Danville’s Nate Deaton said.
Quicker for some than for others. A couple of the seven Boyle seniors joined the team only this season, while some of their teammates were on board before they were even in high school.
“It seems weird because I remember when I first joined the team I was so young, and just thinking I’m done is pretty wild,” said Owen Stone, who has been swimming for Boyle for five years.
The veteran in the group is Jeffrey Snider, who joined Boyle’s team seven years ago as a sixth-grader. Snider, one of a number of swimmers on the two teams who also swims for the Bluegrass Marlins’ Danville Aquatic Club team, said high school swimming was more of a pastime in his early years on the team.
“I didn’t really take it as serious back then. I just did it for fun. I just had a good time. Then later in my swimming career I started taking it a little more serious,” he said.
Then there is Samantha Roney, who swam for the local club team for six years before giving up her spot when she decided to join Danville’s team as a sophomore, one year after transferring from Danville Christian.
“I just kind of wanted to try it and see if I liked it, and I ended up loving it,” Roney said.
Roney has two part-time jobs and a number of school-related activities, and she said she liked the fact that Danville’s practice schedule wasn’t as demanding as her club schedule.
“I’m very busy, especially with high school. I’m taking a lot of advanced placement classes, and I try to do different clubs and things, so this is a way that I could get swimming in, I could still get exercise, but at the same time it’s not every single day for 2 1/2 hours,” she said. “There’s so much that you’re introduced to in high school, and I wanted to swim and do other things, too.”
Deaton, the only other Danville senior, has taken a different path. He joined the team as a freshman, saying he wanted to try something new after playing basketball in middle school, then signed on with DAC two years later.
Now he says there’s a good chance he’ll be able to swim for Centre College next year.
“I’m not going to be the top dog or anything, but ... a couple years ago I was thinking there’s no way I could swim for any college, really, and now I’ve put a little bit of effort in here and there,” he said. “I started swimming just to see what it was like, and I loved it. I’m going to really, really take it seriously once I get into college.”
Deaton has gotten some help from Snider, as the two regularly swim together during DAC practices.
“Jeffrey and I split the lane, usually, and we both try to push each other really hard,” he said. “I use him for a measuring stick, to know exactly where I am. He’s got so many more years under his belt, and I can just compare myself to him and see where I stand.”
Snider won regional championships last year in the boys 50- and 100-yard freestyle, and he has even higher goals for those races in the coming postseason.
“I’m hoping to rank pretty well at state and get the school records,” he said.
First, he will have to overcome a recent injury to his right shoulder. He swam in only one race, the 50 freestyle, on Tuesday because of that injury, and he didn’t win, but he said it was important to him to take part in his final home meet.
“I just wanted to get my senior night in,” Snider said, adding that he expects to healed in time for the regional and state meets.
Stone also has high hopes for those meets, saying he wants to finish in the top eight in the state in the 200 individual medley and perhaps break the regional record — he is less than a second off that mark.
Stone said he hasn’t competed in many high school meets this season, but he said he enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and the chance to be among friends Tuesday.
“I know every face here, where at a big meet you’re not going to know half of the people you see,” he said.
Stone, Snider and teammate Laura Edelen plan to swim in college, but for most of Boyle’s senior class, which also includes Cayle Crown-Weber, Kathryn Lanham, Lindsay Logue and Patrick Reid, next month’s regional and state meets will probably be the end of the line.
That’s also true for Roney, the only upperclassman on a young Danville girls team, who said she has enjoyed swimming alongside teammates whose senior night is still four years or more away.
“I’m really glad that I got to meet a lot of the middle school girls. I feel like I might have helped them in some way, or I hope that I’ve helped them,” she said. “They’re all going to be very, very, good, and I hope that they stick with it, and I’m trying to persuade them to.”
At Boles Natatorium
Team scores — 1. Danville (D) 108; 2. Boyle County (BC) 41.
200 medley relay — 1. Danville "A" (Dylan Crow, Chappie Couzens, Nate Deaton, Karl Hempel) 1:54.97; 2. Boyle County (Alex Raffay, Connor Frey, Owen Stone, Jack Crawford) 2:08.68; 3. Danville "B" (Will Graham, Austin Barringer, Nick Serey, Alden Baird) 2:23.19.
200 freestyle — 1. Matt Oster (D) 2:07.89; 2. Deaton (D) 2:15.08; 3. Brock Haydon (D) 2:57.49.
200 individual medley — 1. Stone (BC) 2:16.31; 2. Rollins Grubbs (D) 2:27.76; 3. Serey (D) 2:28.04.
50 freestyle — 1. Hempel (D) 25.85; 2. Jeffrey Snider (BC) 27.65; 3. Crawford (BC) 29.45.
100 butterfly — 1. Stone (BC) 56.10; 2. Crow (D) 59.02; 3. Serey (D) 1:04.97.
100 freestyle — 1. Couzens (D) 55.38; 2. Hempel (D) 57.90; 3. Crawford (BC) 1:06.78.
500 freestyle — 1. Oster (D) 5:46.93.
200 freestyle relay — 1. Danville "A" (Grubbs, Deaton, Couzens, Oster) 1:42.26; 2. Boyle County (Stone, Alex Bremer, Crawford, Frey) 1:52.30; 3. Danville "B" (Barringer, Baird, Haydon, Race Pellant) 2:36.87.
100 backstroke — 1. Crow (D) 1:02.33; 2. Grubbs (D) 1:09.65; 3. Graham (D) 1:13.42.
100 breaststroke — 1. Couzens (D) 1:06.97; 2. Frey (BC) 1:23.02; 3. Bremer (BC) 1:31.13.
400 freestyle relay — 1. Danville "A" (Crow, Grubbs, Oster, Hempel) 3:48.27; 2. Danville "B" (Graham, Haydon, Serey, Pellant) 3:48.27.
Team scores — 1. Boyle County (BC) 107; 2. Danville (D) 62.
200 medley relay — 1. Danville (Samantha Roney, Katie Beth Nelson, Blaire Welsh, Brooklyn Haydon) 2:13.41; 2. Boyle County "A" (Katie Sudd, Cayle Crown-Weber, Laura Edelen, Rachel Haltom) 2:17.21; 3. Boyle County "B" (Raygan Kilby, Daisy Brosi, Mackenzie Schwarz, Kathryn Lanham) 2:25.49.
200 freestyle — 1. Welsh (D) 2:19.78; 2. L. Edelen (BC) 2:29.60; 3. Hannah Robertson (BC) 2:30.59.
200 individual medley — 1. Nelson (D) 2:50.82; 2. Vrinda Desai (BC) 2:53.66; 3. Schwarz (BC) 2:56.08.
50 freestyle — 1. Lindsay Logue (BC) 28.67; 2. Amanda Montgomery (BC) 29.24; 3. Sudd (BC) 30.01.
100 butterfly — 1. Haydon (D) 1:19.86; 2. Darby Peck (D) 1:28.60; 3. Elizabeth Kovach 1:37.57.
100 freestyle — 1. Montgomery (BC) 1:05.22; 2. Crown-Weber (BC) 1:07.69; 3. Schwarz (BC) 1:08.14.
500 freestyle — 1. Welsh (D) 6:02.11; 2. L. Edelen (BC) 6:47.47; 3. Desai (BC) 7:00.09.
200 freestyle relay — 1. Boyle County "A" (Crown-Weber, Robertson, Montgomery, Logue) 1:58.28; 2. Danville (Haydon, Tiffany Harper, Nelson, Welsh) 2:00.92; 3. Boyle County "B" (Haltom, Abby Kovach, L. Edelen, Schwarz) 2:01.59.
100 backstroke — 1. Logue (BC) 1:14.31; 2. Robertson (BC) 1:15.64; 3. Sudd (BC) 1:16.26.
100 breaststroke — 1. Nelson (D) 1:24.24; 2. Crown-Weber (BC) 1:30.47; 3. Brosi (BC) 1:32.54.
400 freestyle relay — 1. Boyle County "A" (Sudd, Robertson, Montgomery, Logue) 4:40.59; 2. Danville (Roney, Harper, Peck, Taylor Mingo) 5:19.17; 3. Boyle County "B" (E. Kovach, Nancy Lewis, Georgia Skelton, Kilby) 5:19.48.