Kingfish crowned division champions

The Kaiserslautern Kingfish swim team was crowned the 2011-2012 European Forces Swim League Rhineland Division champions Saturday at the Ramstein Aquatic Center.

The team held off the 2010-2011 champions, the Stuttgart Piranhas, and moved one step closer to repeating as the EFSL champions. 

The Kingfish overwhelmed the completion from start to finish. Kaiserslautern got off to a strong start winning three of four 200m individual medley mixed relays and never looked back. Up to the 20th event, Kaiserslautern held a commanding 102 point lead and through the next 20 events they closed the distance between them and the competition, winning the meet by 165 points. The final score was Kingfish, 1035, Stuttgart, 870, Heidelberg, 367, and Berlin, 272.  

Spirited performances were given by team captain Connor Davis, 17, Rachel Plescha, 16, Andrew Hokaj, 14, Amy Roth, 14, Ben Davis, 12, Danielle Davis, 12, Alexa Hutton, 10, Ida Peterson, 8, and Kathleen Nicholson, 8. They all finished the meet with three first place finishes out of the three events they swam.  

Team captains Andy Cummin, 17, and Anya Hovanic, 17, along with Macy Cabiness, 18, Jessica Kafer, 18, Holly Roth, 16, Peter Cummin, 15, Lexy Meints, 15, Everrett Plocek, 15, and Allison Swift, 8, all finished the meet with two first place finishes and one second place finish.

“We were confident that we had a good shot at winning,” Davis said. “In order to get the job done, we knew we’d have to work hard and race smart. The swimmers participating showed a high level of determination to improve their times. I was impressed by the overall sportsmanship and team spirit displayed at this division meet.”

Danielle Davis broke three records at the meet. Her exciting performance in the girls 11-12 year 200m IM was the highlight of the meet as she broke the EFSL and Kingfish record by swimming the event at 2:39.85, shattering the previous record of 2:46.37. She also broke two other Kingfish records in the 100m and 200m freestyle. 

“Before I swam, I thought through every detail of the race in my mind,” she said. “During the race I knew my competitor was very close to me so I gave it my best effort. I just wanted to get the win for my team. I wasn’t nervous, I was focused.”

Lexi Meints and Ian Hokaj also broke Kingfish records. Meints finished the 50m freestyle with a phenomenal 29.15, besting the old mark of 29.46. Hokaj finished the 200m freestyle in 2:33.22, breaking the old record of 2:36.37.

The meet marked individual bests as 119 EFSL qualifying times and 57 first place finishes emerged from the Kingfish team during this event. 

Twelve swimmers shaved 10 or more seconds from their individual swim times. Brad Johns, 14, 200m freestyle, Bailey Frandsen, 12, 200m IM, Carlee Hoagland, 11, 200m IM, Hunter Anderson, 10, 100m IM, Paris Binard, 9, 200m freestyle, Delaney Hanna, 9, 200m freestyle, Jaden Francis, 9, 50m Butterfly, Alexa Olsen, 9, 200m freestyle, Colin Gallagher, 8, 200m freestyle, Alison Swift, 8, 100m freestyle, Madison Elliot, 7, 200m freestyle, and Zoe Unsell, 7, 100m freestyle, all swam their best races of the season and achieved personal bests with those performances. Frandsen and Hoagland put in the performances of their lives, shaving a phenomenal 20 seconds from their previous swim times.

The Kingfish will travel to Eindhoven, the Netherlands, for EFSL championships Feb. 18 and 19 as they look to complete the final chapter of their story book season. 

(Courtesy of the Kaiserslautern Kingfish)