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Still perfect: CHS swim teams sweep Hagerstown

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Connersville’s Jennifer Geise completes a dive in the CHS natatorium against Hagerstown on Tuesday evening. Geise finished second in the diving competition.
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Connersville senior Hutton Getz swims the 100 backstroke against Hagerstown, Tuesday night in the CHS swimming pool. Getz won the event with a time of 1:10.68. His win helped the Spartans boys post a 122-48 win over the visiting Tigers.

By GRADY TATE - gtate@newsexaminer.com

Things are going well for Jonathan Bitner in his first year as co-coach for the Connersville High School swim teams.

Following a pair of wins by both the boys and girls teams against Eastern Hancock and Batesville on Tuesday, the former Rushville swimming mentor and his charges at CHS entertained Hagerstown on Thursday evening.

The Connersville girls got off to a rugged start, dropping the 200 medley relay to kick off the night, but the Lady Spartans rallied for a 99-84 victory.

The CHS boys didn’t struggle nearly as much, pulling away early for a 122-48 win.

“I thought all of the kids swam really well,” the co-coach with Darrell Drew said, following the dual wins. “We had a very tough Hagerstown team come in here tonight and I thought they really pushed us. The girls meet was close throughout the entire meet.

“We got off to a rough start in the 200 medley relay, and that put us behind. Because of that, we were forced to try and find some places where we could catch up. We put some girls in spots where they weren’t used to swimming.

“The girls accepted that and did a nice job taking some places to help us get back in it.”

CHS didn’t take long to respond to the early 10-4 deficit.

In the next two events, Ryleigh Loper and Carrie Cooley finished 1-2 in the 200 freestyle, and the duo of Audra Volz and Avery Webb did the same thing in the 200 IM.

Suddenly, the score was 24-22, in favor of the Lady Spartans.

“Those 1-2 finishes were huge for us,” Bitner said.

By the time the 100 freestyle closed out three events later, Bitner felt a bit safer with that small lead.

“Somewhere about the 100 freestyle, I started to relax a little bit,” he said. “We’re strong in the back half of the meet with Audra (Volz) and Maria (Wells) there for us. I felt very confident that we would pull it out, once we got past the 100 freestyle.

Other winners for the girls included Wells (100 freestyle, 100 backstroke), Grace Newman (100 butterfly), Loper (500 freestyle) and Volz (100 breaststroke). Both the 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams were also winners for CHS.

In addition to the winners, several Spartan girls excelled in their events.

“Morgan Keaffaber swam very well in the 200 IM,” assistant coach Taylor Isaacs said. “She dropped several seconds in her time, and I am very proud of her. I also thought that Avery Webb fought hard to close out her 100 backstroke extremely strong.”

“I thought that both Jennifer (Geise) and Emily (Price) stepped up in a big way tonight on the diving boards,” CHS diving coach Kristin Day said.

The boys won their 200 medley relay to open their meet, and in fact, lost only two events the entire evening (200 freestyle, 100 butterfly).

“I think our boys medley relay team had a very nice swim tonight, dropping time in that race,” Isaacs said of the opening event. “Hutton Getz, Skyler Cavins, Quinton Jones and Warren Toole did a really nice job.”

Winners for the boys included Cavins (200 IM, 100 breaststroke), Jones (diving), Getz (100 backstroke), Jonah Hensley (50 freestyle, 100 freestyle), and Spencer Noah (500 freestyle). 

In addition to the medley relay win, the boys also touched first in the 200 and 400 relay events.

Both teams will put their 3-0 marks on the line Tuesday at Richmond.

“I am super excited. I could not be happier for these kids,” Bitner said. “They’re accustomed to this, but this is something that I am not completely used to, so it’s really exciting for me.

Isaacs agrees.

“It’s very exciting,” the former Lady Spartan swimmer said. “I think the kids are having a lot of fun in the pool.”

CONNERSVILLE GIRLS 99, HAGERSTOWN GIRLS 84

200 medley relay — 1. Hagerstown A 2:15.37; 2. Connersville A (Carrie Cooley, Morgan Keaffaber, Grace Newman, Caroline Poe) 2:18.44; 3. Hagerstown B 2:22.42; 4. Connersville B (Jennifer Geise, Emily Price, Maddie Powell, Avery Webb) 2:27.37; 5. Hagerstown C 2:35.00.

200 freestyle — 1. Ryleigh Loper CHS 2:15.63; 2. Carrie Cooley CHS 2:31.60; 3. Paige Stuart HHS 2:32.68. Other Connersville competitor: 6. Hayley Honaker 3:18.86.

200 IM — 1. Audra Volz CHS 2:33.21; 2. Avery Webb CHS 2:49.71; 3. Kristen McFarland HHS 2:52.96. Other Connersville competitors: 6. Morgan Keaffaber 3:06.59.

50 freestyle — 1. Morgan Rector HHS 28.77; 2. Mallory Bledsoe HHS 29.20; 3. Grace Newman CHS 29.53. Other Connersville competitors: 5. Caroline Poe 31.14, 6. Brooklyn McClung 32.80.

Diving — 1. Kourtney Ridge HHS 143.55; 2. Jennifer Geise CHS 125.45; 3. Emily Price CHS 101.75.

100 butterfly — 1. Grace Newman CHS 1:12.45; 2. Mallory Bledsoe HHS 1:16.69; 3. Maddie Powell CHS 1:21.44. Other Connersville competitors: 6. Sara Kalkhoff 1:53.27.

100 freestyle — 1. Maria Wells CHS 1:02.46; 2. Morgan Rector HHS 1:03.93; 3. Ella Nicholson HHS 1:08.14. Other Connersville competitors: 4. Caroline Poe 1:08.72, 6. Brooklyn McClung 1:11.87.

500 freestyle — 1. Ryleigh Loper CHS 6:06.03; 2. Carrie Cooley CHS 6:46.84; 3. Paige Stuart HHS 6:54.55. Other Connersville competitor: 4. Maddie Powell 7:09.77.

200 freestyle relay — 1. Connersville A (Grace Newman, Maria Wells, Ryleigh Loper, Audra Volz) 1:55.13; 2. Hagerstown A 2:04.12; 3. Hagerstown B 2:13.59; 4. Connersville B (Sara Kalkhoff, Georgia Thompson, Hayley Honaker, Brooklyn McClung) 2:18.15; 5. Hagerstown C 2:29.15.

100 backstroke — 1. Maria Wells CHS 1:10.70; 2. Megan Callahan HHS 1:16.32; 3. Avery Webb CHS 1:16.55. Other Connersville competitor: 6. Jennifer Geise 1:33.87.

100 breaststroke — 1. Audra Volz CHS 1:15.80; 2. Hailey Callahan HHS 1:26.37; 3. Gwen Cox HHS 1:31.14. Other Connersville competitors: 4. Morgan Keaffaber 1:31.27, 6. Emily Price 1:36.55.

400 freestyle relay — 1. Connersville A (Ryleigh Loper, Caroline Poe, Maria Wells, Audra Volz) 4:25.95; 2. Hagerstown A 4:37.38; 3. Connersville B (Carrie Cooley, Brooklyn McClung, Maddie Powell, Avery Webb) 4:39.26; 4. Hagerstown B 4:58.15; 5. Hagerstown C 5:21.42.

CONNERSVILLE BOYS 122, HAGERSTOWN BOYS 48

200 medley relay — 1. Connersville A (Hutton Getz, Skyler Cavins, Quinton Jones, Warren Toole) 1:57.84; 2. Hagerstown A 2:05.01; 3. Connersville B (Nathan Shawl, Seth Spurlock, Max Crank, Kyle Downard) 2:13.83.

200 freestyle — 1. Tyler Wilson HHS 2:05.96; 2. Kyle Downard CHS 2:22.83; 3. Hutton Getz CHS 2:24.44. Other Connersville competitor: 4. Ethan Jennings 2:28.82.

200 IM — 1. Skyler Cavins CHS 2:20.65; 2. Andrew Turner HHS 2:24.95; 3. Spencer Noah CHS 2:38.66. Other Connersville competitor: 4. Max Crank 3:16.31.

50 freestyle — 1. Jonah Hensley CHS 24.07; 2. Justin Kidd CHS 25.22; 3. James Cochran HHS 27.07. Other Connersville competitor: 4. Warren Toole 27.73.

Diving — 1. Quinton Jones CHS 198.15.

100 butterfly — 1. Andrew Turner HHS 1:08.99; 2. Quinton Jones CHS 1:13.99; 3. Seth Spurlock CHS 1:23.64. Other Connersville competitor: 4. Max Crank 1:28.75.

100 freestyle — 1. Jonah Hensley CHS 53.63; 2. Justin Kidd CHS 56.15; 3. Alexander McKee HHS 1:02.42. Other Connersville competitor: 4. Nathan Shawl 1:05.46.

500 freestyle — 1. Spencer Noah CHS 6:31.33; 2. Ethan Jennings 6:42.72; 3. Kyle Downard CHS 6:50.92.

200 freestyle relay — 1. Connersville A (Justin Kidd, Hutton Getz, Spencer Noah, Jonah Hensley) 1:44.33; 2. Hagerstown A 1:47.27; 3. Connersville B (Seth Spurlock, Warren Toole, Ethan Jennings, Kyle Downard) 1:58.35.

100 backstroke — 1. Hutton Getz CHS 1:10.68; 2. James Cochran HHS 1:13.19; 3. Nathan Shawl CHS 1:17.37.

100 breaststroke — 1. Skyler Cavins CHS 1:11.69; 2. Tyler Wilson HHS 1:16.00; 3. Seth Spurlock CHS 1:23.31.

400 freestyle relay — 1. Connersville A (Spencer Noah, Justin Kidd, Skyler Cavins, Jonah Hensley) 3:53.47; 2. Connersville B (Warren Toole, Max Crank, Ethan Jennings, Nathan Shawl) 4:25.84; 3. Hagerstown A 6:16.67.