KNOXVILLE, TN- This past week Dec. 6-9 the Baylor Swim Club sent ten athletes to compete in the 2017 USA Swimming Speedo Winter Junior Championships- EAST held at the Alan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center on the campus of the University of Tennessee. This is one of the the top swimming competitions in the country on an annual basis for swimmers eighteen years old and under. There are over 1,000 swimmers in the meet representing over 150 clubs from all over the eastern half of the country. Baylor had a very productive meet acheiving the following accomplishments over the three and a half day competition: 1 Junior National Champion, 3 Southeastern Records, 4 Baylor School records, 5 Baylor Swim Club records, and 16 New All Time Baylor Top 20 performances. The Baylor Swim Club boys finished in 6th place overall in the team scores, while Baylor took 8th in the combined scores. This is Baylor's highest finish in the team scores since 2009.
The Baylor Swim Club got off to a solid start on Wed. evening in the relay events. The boys 4x50 Medley Relay (Jack Kirby, Piotr Kurleto, Zach Althoff, & Trey Freeman) and 4x200 freestyle relay (Zach Althoff, Jack Kirby, Piotr Kurleto, & Trey Freeman) finished 3rd overall in both events. The girls 4x50 Medley relay (Ellie Waldrep, Jewel Gordon, Dallas Woods, & Addison Smith) took 10th overall in the event.
Leading the way for Baylor on Day 2 were outstanding swims from both Trey Freeman and Addison Smith. Freeman swam to a 2nd place finish in the 500 freestyle in a new Baylor School Record time of 4:15.06. The previous school record was held by Sam McHugh. In prelims of the girls 500 freestyle, Addison Smith also swam to a NEW Baylor School record with a time of 4:49.38. The previous record was held by Kristen Vredeveld that was set back in 2012.
Newcomer Piotr Kurleto competed in the Bonus final of the 200 IM to place 24th in the event. Freeman also swam in the consolation final of the 50 free to take 13th in a time of 20.36. Both boys and girls also completed in the 4x100 Medley Relays last night. The boys relay of Jack Kirby, Piotr Kurleto, Zach Althoff, and Trey Freeman took 6th overall in the event with time of 3:18.55. The girls relay of Ellie Waldrep, Jewel Gordon, Jamee Mitchum, and Dallas Woods finished in 31st.
Trey Freeman started the night off on Day 3 with a bang, taking the championship in the men’s 200 freestyle. His time of 1:33.98 was also a new Baylor School record. Jack Kirby also had a fantastic day finishing 6th overall in the 100 backstroke in a time of 48.97. Teammate Zach Althoff placed 4th in the C Final in the 100 backstroke as well. On the girls side, Ellie Waldrep raced to a second place finish in the consolation final of the 100 backstroke in a personal best time of 54.18. The men’s 4x50 freestyle Relay of Piotr Kurleto, Jack Kirby, Zach Althoff, and Trey Freeman claimed 5th overall in the event in a time of 1:22.32.
On the final day of the meet the boys 4x100 freetsyle relay of Jack Kirby, Zach Althoff, Piotr Kurleto, and Trey Freeman led the way. Their time of 3:00.78 was a also a new Baylor School record. Junior Jack Kirby had a fantastic swim in the 200 backstroke. His time of 1:45.2 won consolation final and placed him 9th overall in the event.
“I thought this was a great team effort by our student athletes," said Coach Flack. "We had great performances across all the stokes and distances, and our relays were swum with passion, conviction and great execution. I love watching our team be fearless in the heats to bust out and make big night session swims. To have 5 boys place 6th overall in a huge meet like this is pretty special and something we are all very proud of."