The Fort Mill Yellow Jackets dominated the Region 3-4A swim meet on Saturday at the Rock Hill Aquatic Center, and in the process led the list of qualifiers for next week’s state swim meet in Columbia.
The Yellow Jackets had already won the region title in both the girls and boys divisions by head-to-head competition during the regular season. It marked the fifth consecutive year that the Yellow Jackets have claimed first place in the region in both divisions.
“This is the strongest team I have had the pleasure of coaching,” said Fort Mill head coach Cindy Van Buskirk. “Their dedication this year has been amazing.”
The Yellow Jackets had already qualified several individuals and relay teams for the state meet through regular season results. Saturday’s performance earned a few more the right to swim again next week.
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“We have 12 girls and nine boys qualified for next week in the individual competition,” said Van Buskirk. “All six of our relay teams qualified for the state meet.”
The Fort Mill girls won four individual first places on Saturday in addition to all three of the relay events.
The Yellow Jackets opened the meet by winning the 200 medley relay and closed it with a win in the 400 freestyle relay. In between they won the 200 freestyle relay.
Fort Mill’s Madison Coughlen had two first-place finishes. She won the 200 freestyle in 1:57.38 and the 500 freestyle in 5:14.18.
The Yellow Jackets’ Erynn Black also won a pair of events. She claimed the top spot in the 200 individual medley M in 2:17.13 and the 100 backstroke in 1:02.51.
Clover’s Morgan Rulevich was also a double winner, taking the 50 freestyle in 24.89 seconds and the 100 breaststroke in 1:07.37.
Jessica Myers of York was the top performer in the 100 freestyle with a time of 55.21 seconds.
The Fort Mill boys won four individual titles and two of the three relay events.
The Yellow Jackets won the 200 medley relay and the 200 freestyle relay. Nation Ford won the 400 freestyle relay.
Ben Fenwick of Fort Mill was a double winner., taking the 200 individual medley in 2:00.83 and the 100 butterfly in 57.30 seconds.
The Yellow Jackets’ Zach Piedt also won twice on Saturday, with a 21.6-second effort in the 50 freestyle and 47.44 seconds in the 100 freestyle.
David Sweezer of Nation Ford also picked up two first place finishes, winning the 200 freestyle in 1:43.40 and the 500 freestyle in 4:43.55.
Jackson Bagwell of Rock Hill finished first in the 100 backstroke at 55.05 seconds. Nation Ford’s Samuel Fitzgerald was the top performer in the 100 breaststroke at 1:03.54.
Fort Mill finished third in the state last year in both the girls and the boys divisions, and the Yellow Jackets are hoping to improve on that this year.
“It is going to be interesting this year,” said Van Buskirk. “There will be some strong teams again this year, but I am expecting a wonderful day and a strong finish. It will be close, and it could come down to the last event.”