Kingfish reign at long distance championships

The Kaiserslautern Kingfish Swim Team converged on the Olympic Pool Wezenberg in Antwerp, Belgium on November 24-25 for the European Forces Swim League Long Distance Championships.  In keeping with their undefeated stretch over two seasons, the Kingfish were once again crowned the Long Distance Champions.  The Kingfish brought home 9 gold medals, 9 silver, 8 bronze, and 29 other medals, from fourth through sixth place.  The team scored a whopping 1248 points, greater than five hundred points ahead on the results board. 

Among the 10 and under swimmers, who swam an inaugural, 400-meter freestyle, standout swims included gold medalists Madison Elliot (8) and Kathleen Nicholson (9), at 7:31.50 and 6:56.99 respectively.  Elliot and Nicholson, along with Jocelyn Choi (10), Cooper Peterson (9), and Jaden Francis (10) all set the initial Kingfish records in this event.  Choi also took a silver medal in her swim, and Francis had a photo-finish fourth.  Allie Elliott, Letia Reed and Anna Ettrich, (10) raced to within .80 seconds of each other to take 4th, 5th and 6th respectively.

For the 11 and older swimmers, the events included an 800-meter freestyle, a 400 meter individual medley, and a 1500-meter freestyle.  Eight team records were set by swimmers in this age group.  Record breakers were led by Danielle Davis (13) who demolished the records in all three of her events, rewriting the old 800-meter freestyle record of 10:44.08 to 10:08.79, the old IM record of 6:02.55 to 5:44.07, and flattening the old 1500-meter record of 20:59.75 with a new mark of 19:49.53.   Other record setters included Everett Plocek (16) in the 400IM at 5:44.07, and scaling back the old 1500 freestyle by 45.22 seconds to 18:19.05, sprinting all the way to the end for a .38 second victory.  Rachel Plescha also set records in the 800-meter (10:35.62) and 1500-meter freestyle (20:37.14), and Anna Griffin (17) set a new 400-meter IM at 6:15.32.

Other “never give in” swims included Emily Ettrich.  In the 400 IM, she came from two body lengths back at the start of the freestyle to touch out her competition, win the heat and drop nine seconds from her entry time.  Connor Davis, in the same race, came back from four body lengths in the freestyle to finish second within .06 of first.  Michael Fischer, in the 800 Free, negative split his swim to drop 46 seconds.  Julio Quinones and Patrick Baty, in the 1500 Free, held consistently strong pacing and negative split their race to over a 50 second drop in time.  Lena Reed, in the 1500 Free, raced her competition stroke for stroke for the 1.07 second lead in the final 25 meters.

Other swimmers who swam their way to the medal podium included Penelope Washington (11) with two golds, Elizabeth Gorske (12) with a gold and two silvers, Connor Davis (18) with three silvers, Amelia Cardon (9) with a silver, Ann Johnson (14) with three bronze, and Plescha, Jenna Macias (12), Joshua Choi (12), Alexa Hutton (11) and Alison Swift (9) with a bronze each. 

The Kingfish next host a pentathalon meet on December 8 at the Ramstein Aquatic Center.  They are already beginning training for the second half of the season, which looks to be as successful as the first.

(Courtesy of the Kaiserslautern Kingfish Swim Team)