HOPKINSVILLE – Swimming season opened for Marshall County and Christian Fellowship in the Rick Cohn Invitational Saturday at Hopkinsville High School’s Rick Cohn Aquatic Center.
The Lady Marshals finished fourth in women’s team competition, while the Marshals tied for ninth with Calloway County among 12 men’s teams. Marshall County ranked sixth overall.
Both coaches – Kevin Stephens of MCHS and Paulette Buckingham of CFS – used the same word to describe their first meet: Fantastic.
“Almost every swimmer improved time on their individual events,” Stephens said.
Buckingham noted progress for her middle school-aged varsity swimmers and hailed the achievements of her “veteran,” sophomore Nick Snodgrass.
“He had an awesome finish in the 100-yard freestyle, placing second out of 27 swimmers with a time of 57.54 seconds,” Buckingham said.
“He was one of only two swimmers who scored under one minute in this event.”
The Eagles, with only four swimmers, were at a disadvantage in team competition, with its cumulative scoring.
Buckingham noted that eighth-graders Thomas Snodgrass and Bettye Starkey showed marked improvements over their personal best efforts from last year. First-year swimmer Jerod Warren, a freshman, turned in “great beginning times” in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard breaststroke.
For Marshall County, Sarah Telle of Marshall County also notched a second-place finish in the women’s 100 backstroke. Teammate and fellow caption Erika Darnell was third in that event.
Jessica Anderson took another third place for the Lady Marshals in the 200 free.
The 400 free relay team consisting of Telle, Darnell, Sidney Jackson and Anderson, was also third, while the 200 medley relay team of Telle, Whitney Barrett, Darnell and Anderson took fifth.
The 200 medley relay team came within less than a second of breaking a school-record time, Stephens said, and Telle was just four-tenths of a second away from breaking a school record in the 100 breaststroke.
“With this being the first meet, I was just tinkering with putting people in different events to get times established, as well as finding times for best possible relays,” Stephens said. “I really think that we could see as many as four or five school records fall during the course of this year.”
Austin Gordon of Marshall County had a fourth-place finish in the men’s 100 free.
Fifth-place finishers included Darnell in the 100 fly and Barrett in the 100 breast.
Murray took overall team honors with 152 points, topping Daviess County with 126. The same schools took first and second in men’s and women’s competition.
Muhlenberg County was third in women’s team points with 37 points, just three ahead of the Lady Marshals.
Marshall County was scheduled to compete in a tri-match with Madisonville-North Hopkins and Muhlenberg County Monday afternoon. Next action for both MCHS and CFS will be the Paducah Tilghman Invitational Dec. 5 at the Paducah Athletic Club.