Kingfish win again

Courtesy of the Kaiserslautern Kingfish swim team

The Kaiserslautern Kingfish swim team hosed the Berlin Bear-a-cudas in a dual meet Nov. 15 at the Ramstein Aquatic Center. The Kingfish notched another victory, scoring 530 points to Berlin’s 190.

In addition to winning the meet, five new team records were set. Ellis Burrill, 8, broke Annika Zimmerer’s 2012 record of 7:51.01 in the 400-meter freestyle with a new time of 7:32.37.  Matthew Cembrano, 12, set a new mark in the 200 free with a time of 2:29.49. Gabriel Ayala, 10, broke Jaden Francis’ record in the 800-meter free by 1.7 seconds. Andrew Hendrickson and Leomar Ayala, 10, traded off records, with Hendrickson taking Leomar Ayala’s crown in the 100-meter free and the 200-meter individual medley, with time of 1:14.58 and 3:07.54.  Leomar Ayala broke Hendrickson’s record in the 200-meter free with a time of 2:40.77.

Other swimmers who had terrific days included Matthew Hall, 11, who posted five personal best times. Ryleigh Brooking, 8, Matthew Pollmiller, 15, and Scott Rustenhaven, 15, each posted four.

A special treat this meet was the presence of three swimmers from the Czech Republic, friends of the Hendrickson family, longtime Kingfish members. Vanessa Bouzek, Pavel Bouzek and Lilly Kucera, all 8, had never before swam in competition. Despite their exhibition status, they turned in times that made other swimmers sit up and take notice, with Vanessa Bouzek posting a time at the top of the board in the 50 and 100-meter freestyle events, Pavel Bouzek at the top in the 50-meter free, and Kucera the best outing in the 50-meter breastroke for their age groups.

In total, 55 Kingfish swimmers qualified for the European Championships in February. First, they have the European Forces Swim League Long Distance Championships, to be held Thanksgiving weekend in Lignano, Italy. With 52 Kingfish swimmers qualified for that event, they hope to hold onto the Long Distance Championship they won last year.