Fort Mill Sports

Strength in numbers. Fort Mill, Nation Ford expect to field strong swim teams

Fort Mill’s Aubrey Chandler swims during a recent practice for the Jackets. A senior, Chandler will be counted on as a leader for the Jackets.
Fort Mill’s Aubrey Chandler swims during a recent practice for the Jackets. A senior, Chandler will be counted on as a leader for the Jackets.

With a strong core returning for each team, the Fort Mill and Nation Ford swimmers should again contend for state titles.

The Fort Mill girls and boys’, who each finished third last season at the state meet, and the Nation Ford boys, who finished fourth last season at that meet, all return strong swimmers.

“I am really excited for the girls’ team,” said Fort Mill head coach Cindy Van Buskirk. “We are bringing back a lot of talent.”

Some of the girls who should lead Fort Mill this year include seniors Sara Greene and Erynn Black and junior Aubrey Chandler.

Fort Mill has 50 swimmers (26 girls and 24 boys) on this year’s team. They didn’t lose but a handful of swimmers to graduation last season.

“I am very excited,” Van Buskirk said. “We have a lot of new talent and the returning talent is there. I hope to be region champs again.”

Fort Mill opens its season Aug. 21 with a tri-meet at the Rock Hill Aquatic Center and will have two meets at home this season. The first will be Sept. 20 against Rock Hill and the second will be Sept. 25 against Nation Ford, where Fort Mill will be listed as the visiting squad, despite the two teams sharing the pool as their home course.

For Nation Ford, the Falcons will have 42 swimmers with 18 boys and 24 girls. Nation Ford lost 13 to graduation and athletes moving out of the area. But head coach Lori Glasco is optimistic.

“We don’t have as many seniors as we did last year,” she said. “I think we will be very competitive. We will still have some really fast swimmers.”

Glasco said Nation Ford’s depth should help them in the future.

The Falcons have two senior girls on this year’s team and one senior boy in Nick Grigat. Like their rivals, Nation Ford has two home meets. Their first home meet is a tri-meet Sept. 18. The there is a home meet against Fort Mill Sept. 25. Fort Mill and Nation Ford swim their home meets at the Fort Mill Complex YMCA.

The Region IV swim meet will be Sept. 29 at the Rock Hill Aquatics Center with the 5A state swim meet scheduled for Oct. 6 at the USC Natatorium in Columbia.

Mac Banks: mbanks@comporium.net, @MacBanksFM

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