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AquaRockets finish fifth at region

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By Todd Martin

The Shelby County High School swim team took fifth place overall in the Region 3 swim meet held Friday and Saturday in Versailles.

The girls' squad finished third with 115 points, and the boys took sixth with 101 points.

Woodford County ran away with the overall combined title with 555 points, Boyle County was second with 313, Danville was third with 262, Scott County fourth with 241 and Shelby finished with 216 combined points.

While head coach Jeremiah Heath said he was a little disappointed with the team's overall finish, he has a lot to be excited about.

"We had been shooting for third overall, and I thought coming in we had a great shot at it," he said. "But primarily we had some individuals that weren't quite ready for the finals on Saturday, either mentally, or something. But we still have a pretty good young nucleus that improved a lot over the course of the season."

Heath said that young nucleus will help carry the team next year -- hopefully to that third place finish they were aiming for or higher.

"We had a lot of individuals that swam their best time, but because they're so young, they weren't quite ready to make that jump to the finals. We're really excited about what we have coming back. Young swimmers -- middle school and freshmen and sophomores -- make a lot of improvement this season. I told the kids after the region meet that overall we had an incredible year. We had more than 50 percent best times in every meet we swam in this season, and that's pretty incredible. We had hoped for a better team score at the regional meet, but they're improving and the level of excitement and work ethic has been great."

All-region

T.J. Kelly and Lindsey Anderson were both named to the All-Region 3 team after earning high-point honors at the regional meet. Kelly and Anderson were one of eight boys and eight girls selected for the honor.

State

The AquaRockets had three individuals and one relay quality for the state meet this Friday and Saturday at the University of Louisville. T.J. Kelly will swim the 50 free, and is an alternate in the 100 free, Lindsey Anderson will swim the 500 free and Travis Adams will compete in the 1-meter diving competition.

The boys' 200-free relay team -- comprised of freshman John Ruble, eighth-grader Jordan Lohr, senior Andrew Moffett and Kelly, a junior -- also qualified as an alternate.

The alternate qualifiers could get the chance to swim if an individual or team has to pull out of the race. Heath said it's unlikely to happen, but the 200-free team did get to swim last year after qualifying as alternate when a team was forced to pull out.

Kelly is ranked 21st out of 24 swimmers going among the state qualifiers with a time of 23:18 in the 50 free, and Heath said it will be difficult, but not impossible, for him to make the finals and score.

"He'll need to drop about three-tenths of a second to get to the finals and score, and he's at a point where dropping time is difficult because he's down there," Heath said. "He'll have to be mentally strong and just want to go and take it. But I definitely think he's prepared."

Anderson is ranked 20th in the 500 free with a time of 5:35.67, but Heath said he likes her chances of making the finals.

"Her time at the regional (the 5:35) was her best time in two years in the event, and a lot of times when you see a swimmer break through like that you'll start to see more significant drops in time," he said. "She's set her goals for the state meet and I think she's very capable of making the finals and scoring some points."

Adams comes in ranked 22nd in diving, but he does have experience to fall back on. Adams made the state meet last year, and Heath said he expects him to do well this year.

"I think Travis definitely has a great chance to score," Heath said. "He's got the experience and he's diving very well right now."