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Hammerheads battle tough competition, high temps
Jennifer Gaughran, 14, swims the breaststroke during the medley relay for the 13-14 girls. - photo by Photo by Susan Baker / Coastal Courier
The Liberty County Swim Team competed recently at Jesup for their second meet. With the fierce competition in the pool, the Hammerheads had to battle the heat, too. With temperatures soaring near 100 degrees, the swimmers had to dig deep for energy to complete their events and the swimmers rocked the block while beating the clock.
"The swimmers had to overcome heat issues which are difficult when dealing with swimming," commented Coach Susan Baker. "These times when the temperatures are high, swimmers usually do not swim well, but today these swimmers were able to drop their times by several seconds."
The day started off with swimmers swimming their distance freestyle. The swimmers who swam distance were Elizabeth Anglehart (4th), Samuel Baker (2nd), McKaylin Darsey (1st), Celine Beasley (3rd), Alyssa Pitts (10th), Nicholas Hahn (5th), Patrick Baker (6th), Jennifer Gaughran (8th), Bethany Langston (9th), Jimmy Arnold (5th), Devin Wilber (6th), and Thomas Baker (9th). Distance swimming was 50 yards or 100 yards depending on the age of the swimmer.
After the distance swimming, swimmers were paired with swimmers in their age group and gender for the Medley Relays. The 9 - 10 girls which were Kaitlyn Anglehart, McKaylin Darsey, Sandra Scott, and Celine Beasley placed 1st by several seconds. In the 13 - 14 age group, Bethany Langston, Jennifer Gaughran, Margaret Turner, and Ashley Pitts took their relay to a 4th place finish.
The short freestyle events followed the Medley Relays which had numerous entries. The swimmers in this event were Harlee Stanford (10th), Landa Owens (14th), Elizabeth Anglehart (17th), Tori Miller (21st), Samuel Baker (2nd), Kelso Horne (13th), Kaitlyn Anglehart (3rd), Katie-June Horne (10th), Alyssa Pitts (17th), Patrick Baker (7th), Kirsten Morris (2nd), Amanda McGrath (10th), Carson Owens (7th), Jennifer Gaughran (6th), Kevin Morris (2nd), Taylor Baker (8th), Joseph Owens (4th), and Devin Wilber (5th). This event is one of the most exciting events during the meet.
The next event is the breastroke which is often difficult to perfect. Kelso Horne (1st), Sandra Scott (4th), Kaitlyn Anglehart (7th), Nicholas Hahn (2nd), Kirsten Morris (1st), Margaret Turner (3rd), Jennifer Gaughran (8th), Kevin Morris (1st), Joseph Owens (4th), and Thomas Baker (5th) were the swimmers who were able to swim the stroke without being disqualified.
The individual medley is event were the swimmer is swimming all four strokes with the butterfly first with backstroke second then the breastroke and freestyle finishing the event. Sandra Scott (1st), Margaret Turner (2nd), Jimmy Arnold (1st), Taylor Baker (3rd), and Nicole Puckett (6th) were the swimmers who swam this difficult event and finished well.
The backstroke followed the individual medley. Landa Owens (3rd), Tori Miller (8th), Elizabeth Anglehart (13th), Samuel Baker (2nd), Kelso Horne (7th), Celine Beasley (2nd), Katie-June Horne (4th), Kaitlyn Anglehart (8th), Kirsten Morris (1st), Amanda McGrath (9th), Carson Owens (7th), Bethany Langston (7th), Ashley Pitts (12th), Kevin Morris (2nd), Nicole Puckett (5th), Joseph Owens (2nd), and Thomas Baker (3rd) were the swimmers who swam a 25 yard or 50 yard backstroke.
One event which takes endurance is the butterfly stroke. The butterfly follows the backstroke and usually the number of swimmers trying this stroke is few. Sandra Scott (1st), McKaylin Darsey (3rd), Nicholas Hahn (8th), Patrick Baker (9th), Margaret Turner (1st), Bethany Langston (6th), Jimmy Arnold (4th), Taylor Baker (5th), and Devin Wilber (4th) are the swimmers who took up the challenge of swimming this event.
The last event of the meet is the Freestyle Relay which is also the most exciting event. The 7 - 8 year old girls had a relay in this event which had Tori Miller, Landa Owens, Elizabeth Anglehart, and Harlee Stanford placed 3rd. The 9 - 10 year old girls which had Sandra Scott, McKaylin Darsey, Celine Beasley, and Katie-June Horne as members placed 1st. The last freestyle relay which was the 13 -14 girls which consist of Ashley Pitts, Bethany Langston, Jennifer Gaughran, and Margaret Turner placed 4th in the event.
"These members have to endure heat, bugs, and other factors which could hamper their events or swim, but every meet these swimmers always amaze me," praised Coach Baker. "As the season continues, these swimmers will get stronger, post better times, and hopefully in the end earn their spot on the State team which will be heading to States July 24 - 26."

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