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During an Olympic year, people always pay a little more attention to swimming, and the Shelby Sharks turned a few eyes at the State Long Course Meet over the weekend in Elizabethtown.
Several of the Sharks put on Michael Phelps-like performances, dropping time and shattering team records.
"I think as a team we did really well, and we had few swimmers that did exceptionally well," new head coach Jeremiah Heath said. "We had seven team records broken, and overall it was a beneficial meet for the kids and me. Being a new coach and seeing the kids benefit in our new system was great."
Emma Skinner led the way in breaking records, toppling five team records in the 9-10 year-old group -- the 200 free, 50 back, 100 back, 50 fly and 100 fly. Emily Walsh beat her own team record in 13-14 year-old the 100 back, and Amanda Skinner topped the 17-18 year-old 200 IM record.
A few swimmers even surprised Heath with their performances.
"Collin (Kessinger), Emma (Skinner) and Sam Ruble were very good," he said. "Collin probably the most. She swam nine events and dropped time in all nine, and in six of her seven individual events she made it back to swim in the evening session. She's on the verge of breaking several team records." Kessinger also scored 56 points for the team.
Other top performances that impressed Heath were: Sam Ruble posted a best time in all eight of his events and Amanda Skinner posted best times in four events and scored 72 points for the team.
The Sharks also took two relay teams, both in the 13-14 year-old girls division.
"Both teams placed in the top eight and both dropped quite a bit of time," Heath said.
The 400-medley team of Walsh, Kessinger, Callie Anderson and Addison Barlow took fifth, and the same group placed seventh in the 400 free.
Now, with the long course season over, the team will get a break before starting the short course season at the end of August.
"I'm really looking forward to the short course season," Heath said. "We'll start back on Aug. 25 with a new, different program than the team's been used to. I'm really excited and the kids are really excited to get back in the water and get started. Plus, we have a lot of new kids joining, and we're still looking for more dedicated kids that want to swim. We have a lot of athletes that are just around the corner from opening a lot of doors for themselves -- whether it's college or competing nationally and maybe making a career out of swimming."