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Berkeley swimmers making strides


By Rickey Dennis for Berkeley Independent

The Berkeley swim team is making notable improvements as the Stags near the end of the season.

Nearly all the swimmers improved times in the Stags’ most recent meet against Bluffton on Sept. 26. Two of the girls relay teams notched state consideration times. One of the girls medley relays notched 2:06.35 to rank 13 in the state. The medley team includes Savannah Harris, Vivian Nelson, Layton Sherman and Sarah Mundy.

Eight Cane Bay swimmers have joined Berkeley’s 20-member swim team since the Cobras did not have a swim coach, Berkeley Swim Coach Melissa Ray said. Ray was impressed by some of the times by the new swimmers.

“I’m pretty impressed that some of our new swimmers have state considerations,” Ray said.

She added that it’s challenging to combine two programs into one, but has succeeded in making the Cobras comfortable in the Stag program.

“Its hard to make two schools their team,” Ray said.

The first-year swim coach entered the season with strong expectations for the talented squad. She hoped to get the freshman off to a good start by pairing them with seasoned swimmers like Harris and Mundy.

“It works pretty well for them to learn technique and how to behave at meets,” Ray said of the underclassmen-upperclassmen mentorships. “It was a really good mentoring.”

She’s still learning each day the degrees of high school swimming.

“I’ve learned a lot,” Ray said. “I’ve learned a lot more about coaching in general. Not just the technical aspect of the swimming and competition. All the little nuances and time considerations and programs you have to do to.”

“You practice for five days a week And go swim at a meet for three minutes. The swimmers take it in stride. They’re a great group of kids. I’ve been really blessed.”

The team’s next meet is Saturday at Stratford. The state championships are slated for Oct. 13 Below are the results from the Sept. 26 meet at Bluffton.

Girls 200 IM relay – 2:06.35

Ashylnn Bunch – 50 meter Freestyle – 43:21

Amber Hennick – 50 meter Freestyle – 31.61

Brianna Johnson – 50 meter Freestyle – 41.35

Layton Sherman – 50 meter Freestyle – 29.61

Jacob Lewis – 50 meter Freestyle – 25.22

Chandler Hursey – 50 meter Freestyle – 33.76

Dylan Barrett – 100 meter Butterfly – 1:23.93

Sarah Mundy – 100 meter Freestyle – 55.29

Ashylnn Bunch – 100 meter Freestyle – 1:42.47

Jacob Lewis – 100 meter Freestyle – 59.56

Chandler Hursey – improved time from 1:22.05 to 1:21.34

Chandler Bryant – Improved time from 1:50.20 to 1:47.61

Girls 200 meter Freestyle – A relay – 1:56.85

Girls 200 meter Freestyle – B Relay – 2:24.27

Boys 200 meter Freestyle Relay –1:58.44

Melissa Cothran – 100 meter Backstroke – 1:44.38

Vivian Nelson –100 meter Breaststroke – 1:14.14

Amber Hennick – 100 meter Breaststroke – 1:33.17

Ashleigh Jacumin – 100 meter Breaststroke – 1:37.51

Carter Hinkel – 100 meter Breaststroke – 1:25.63

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