SEBRING – Twelve schools made a splash at the Annual Blackman Swim Invitational last Saturday at Sebring High School, with the Lake Placid girls and the Sebring Blue Streak Boys taking first place in the 21-relay event.
Schools attending the event where Sebring, Lake Placid, Avon Park, McKeel, George Jenkins, Hardee, Lakeland, Bartow, Lakeland Christian, Lake Wales, Ridge and Frostproof.
The Sebring Blue Streaks boys edged out the McKeel Wildcats for first place by five total points, 473-468. George Jenkins, Lake Placid and Avon Park rounded out the top five with 418, 360 and 343 points respectively.
The Lake Placid Green Dragons Girls captured first with 511 total points, beating out George Jenkins with 478 and Lakeland at 447. Sebring finished fifth with 374 points and Avon Park posted a respectable 192 points, good for seventh place.
“Things are going awesome so far” said Avon Park Head Coach Tracy Lee. “We have 11 girls and 20 boys and picking up more every day.”
The Red Devils also picked-up a few more people to help out.
“We have some new coaches this year” Lee said. “Mary Claire, from Ohio, who swam competitively for 10 years and Dominic Hutchins is taking over as the diving coach. They both bring a lot of energy to the team and are a great asset.”
Lee indicated that the Red Devils are off to a fast start as Josh Farless has already broken two school records and there was a 22-year old school record broken by Hailey Myers in the 200 freestyle.
Lake Placid had another strong showing at the Blackman, with 30 girls and 15 boys this year, and the Green Dragons look to have another great swim season.
“We are really happy with the results today” said Lake Placid Head Coach Thomas Creel. “With only 15 boys, we could not fill every event and still managed fourth place and the girls look strong coming in first.”
Sebring also did well, with the boys finishing first and the girls fifth, Sebring coach Greg Smith noted how impressed he was with the squads doing so well.
“We’ve got some boys coming along and we have a lot of juniors,” said Smith. “So that will build not only for this year, but next.”
Smith said the team is coming along nicely and it was good to compete against so many different schools.
“The thing I like about this event is that you can see how they click together, which helps us in our bigger events in the relay events, which account for a lot of points,” he said. “This is a big boost for us to do so well early in the season. Hopefully that helps build towards districts and moving further in regionals.”