Kaiserslautern Kingfish begin season

The Kaiserslautern Kingfish Swim Team officially began their 2012-2013 season Sept. 8 at the Ramstein Aquatic Center. In keeping with last year’s undefeated season, they swam to a victory over visiting teams, the Stuttgart Piranhas and the Vilseck-Grafenwöhr Vipers. The Kingfish came away with 492 points, with the Piranhas coming in a close second with 465.  The Vipers, with only nine swimmers at the competition, had 42. 

“A good first meet,” said head coach Bob Clinton. “Stuttgart provided good competition, with very close swims in many races. Solid swims all around. In particular, there were great swims in the 200 meter and 400 meter races.”

Five swimmers, Sam Bassett, Noah Craig, Jacob Gibbs, Gage Henry and Penelope Washington, achieved four personal best times. Sam Bassett, 13, had a swim of the meet, with a 13.07 second drop in time from his 400 meter freestyle event (5:01.06), and took home three individual first place swims. Annika Zimmerer, 8, also took home three individual first place ribbons, and dropped a whopping 41.82 seconds off her 200 meter freestyle event, coming in at 3:43.30. Joshua Choi, 12, Danielle Davis, 13, Connor Davis, 18, and Libby Gorske, 12, were also three-time first place finishers. Seventy-eight swimmers in total established at least one personal best time, with 15 swimmers obtaining three personal best times. Another swimmer, Julio Quinones, 14, also had a jaw dropping 41.93 second time cut in his 200 meter freestyle, with a final time of 2:41.82.

This meet also inaugurated a new event for the European Forces Swim League, the 200 meter backstroke. Six swimmers from the Kingfish participated in this new event: Danielle Davis, 13, Rachel Plescha, 16, Anna Griffin, 16, Taylor Pestel, 16, Bobby Gaston, 15, and Connor Davis, 18. Plescha (2:38.57), Gaston (2:37.46), Danielle Davis (2:49.95) and Connor Davis (2:25.32) not only took a first place in their respective age and gender groups, but established new team records in the process. An aquatic center record was also set by Lexi Meints, 16, in the in 100 meter freestyle, at 1:03.74.

By the end of the afternoon, the Kingfish had another reason to celebrate. In the 120-member strong team, 41 have already qualified for the European Forces Swim League Championships, to be held in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, in February 2013. The Kingfish have won the EFSL championship nine times since 2000, and fielding such a competitive group of swimmers at the culminating event of the season will help them extend that streak. 

(Courtesy of the Kaiserslautern Kingfish)