Kingfish make strong showing at two meets in one weekend

Tech. Sgt. Chris Lockwood
Contributing Writer

***image1***The Kingfish swimmers competed at two competitions Nov. 19 and 20; the
EFSL Long Distance Championships at SHAPE on the 19th, and a “Dual”
meet with Brussels, Wiesbaden, Wurzburg, and Geilenkirchen on the 20th.
Two bus loads of swimmers and family members departed Ramstein early
Nov. 19 for the four-and-a-half hour drive to SHAPE.

“The team was very well prepared and I got the feeling that this
weekend would be something special. Of 11 teams we placed second
overall with a very strong SHAPE team taking first, but I could not
have asked for more as swimmers achieved a 92 percent personal best
performance rate for the meet,” said Kingfish coach Bob Clinton.
“We don’t get the opportunity to compete in distance events such as the
400 Individual Medley, and 800 and 1500 Freestyles during the regular
season meets so we had to do some considerable pace work during
practice sessions. By training at race pace levels everyone was ready
for their races”.

Standout performers during the Saturday events were:  Keith
Johnson, Teri Plotkin, Roni Place, and Emily Ehlers in the 1500
Freestyle.  Monique Lockwood, Ashley Fuchs, Rebecca Pakradooni,
Taylor Glass, Neill Warrington, Lucas Cummin, and Harrison Place in the
400 IM.  Stephen Tarnowski, Camille Kaczmar, Harrison Place,
Ashley Fuchs, in the 800 Freestyle.  Hannah Shortsleeve and Sophia
Martin in the 200 Individual Medley and 400 Freestyle.

“All swimmers performed well and I was impressed with the amount of
time they were taking off from their personal bests, 30 to 60 second
improvements was not the exception. All swimmers are to be
commended for their outstanding efforts,” said Coach Clinton.

The following day the Kingfish traveled to Brussels for the second
competition of the weekend with similar spectacular results. 
Coach Clinton said, “Normally you would expect less focus and tired
swimmers after the distance meet.  That was not the case; the kids
swam like true champions.  From start to finish the excitement was
ramped up to new heights, with one personal best performance after the

The Kingfish swimmers took seven of eight relays in commanding fashion
and kept the pace of the meet at an extremely high level.  “Key
performers would have to be triple event winners Keith Johnson, Monique
Lockwood,  Mindy Pierce, Roni Place, Teri Plotkin, and Hannah
Short-sleeve,” said Coach Clinton.  “The most outstanding
performer of the meet would have to be Stephen Tarnowski who dropped 22
seconds in his 400 Freestyle to qualify for the EFSL
Champion-ships. This was significant as I had told him that I
thought he had a chance at qualifying if he had a phenomenal
swim. He just looked at me and said sure coach, and that’s just
what he did.  He was so full of confidence.  A great swim to
watch. The other stand out swim was the 13/14 Freestyle relay, the
team of Neill Warrington, Blake Davis, Barbara Burriss, and Camille
Kaczmar lowered an already league leading time by 3.5 seconds. This was
no doubt the best weekend thus far this season and I hope that we can
carry the excitement into the second half of the season and on to (the
Kingfish swimmers will be back in Brussels competing this Sunday.