Kingfish victorious in home swim meet

Beth Henson
Contributing writer

The Kaiserslautern Kingfish preserved their winning streak after beating the Heidelberg Sea Lions and Stuttgart Piranhas at a home swim meet Saturday.
The Kingfish finished at 596, with Heidelberg trailing at 308 and Stuttgart at 198.

The win gave the Kingfish their 40th straight victory.
One of the best races was the women’s 15 to 16, 100-meter backstroke, pitting Kingfish’s Mindy Pierce against Heidelberg’s Mary Ashley Krogh — the league’s top ranked backstroke swimmer. Pierce held the lead most of the race, but lost at the wall touch. She improved her time by three seconds.

“I love to see swimmers rise to levels they never thought they could reach. This is the best part of coaching,” said Kingfish Head Coach Bob Clinton whose team is now 4-0.

“We place emphasis on personal improvement rather than winning all the time. The winning then follows.”

The Kingfish 15 to 19, 200-meter freestyle relay teams placed first and second, finishing less than one second apart.

Ten-year-olds Jacob Smith, Elena Fritz, Nicole McNulty and Stephen Replogle won their 200-meter medley relay with a time of 3:08:79.

“It’s really fun to swim and beat my own time,” said Nicole McNulty, 5th grader at Landstuhl Elementary School.
“It’s even better, though, when we win!”

“There is a lot of team spirit. The kids are excited about swimming and excited about improving their times,” said Coach Clinton.
Debi Gage, head coach of the younger swimmers at the Landstuhl squad said she is thrilled to work with the young swimmers.

“At the beginning, they may not have the best stroke or prettiest style, but if they’ve got the spirit, I love to work with them,” said Coach Gage.

“These kids have a landslide of improvement; it’s monumental.”
Outstanding performances were put in by team captains Betsy Howe and Justin Smith. Stand-out swimmers Terri Plotkin, Neill Warrington, Josh Couillard, Nick Fritz, Erin Noyes, Alex Jaholkowski, Geoff Place, Stephen Replogle, and Elena Fritz.
On Saturday the Kingfish will take on teams from Aviano, Stuttgart, Eifel and Geilenkirchen at Baumholder.