OWENSBORO – Sophomore Paul Hudson and junior Austin Gordon earned top-10 finishes and continued their assault of the Marshall County school record book with their performances in the First Region swim meet at the Owensboro Health Park pool Friday and Saturday.
Hudson lowered his own record in the 100-yard breaststroke twice, once on Friday in the preliminaries and again in Saturday’s finals, while Gordon advanced to Saturday’s action and set a new mark for the 100-yard backstroke.
They were two of nine Marshals and Lady Marshals who qualified to swim in the championship round on Saturday.
Other qualifiers were Grant Park, Landon Lindsey, Sidney Jackson, Allie Pearson, Abby Spicer, Carli Merrick and Jessie Anderson.
“This was a very successful season,” coach Kevin Stephens said. “Almost every swimmer met their goals they set prior to the season.”
The MCHS boys tied with Barren County for 16th place among 24 teams that scored points in the meet. The Lady Marshals placed 18th in team standings.
The field included 29 teams.
Bowling Green dominated the event, the girls swamping Greenwood 510.5 points to 290.5 and the boys topping Owensboro Catholic 380 to 264.
Daviess County’s girls were third in boys’ competition, followed by Madisonville-North Hopkins and South Warren.
Greenwood, Daviess County and Madisonville-North Hopkins were third through fifth in boys’ standings.
Among area teams, the Murray girls were sixth, Lone Oak seventh, St. Mary 13th and Calloway County 19th. Among boys’ teams, Murray was seventh, Heath 10th, Lone Oak 12th, Paducah Tilghman 19th and Calloway County 21st.
Daniel McGee of Murray broke the region record in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:41.41 in the finals, after he had established a record with a 4:42.28 on Friday.
McGee won two events and will advance to the state meet Feb. 21-23 in Louisville.
Also advancing to the state meet as individuals are Cyrus Navabi of Murray and Tyler Fell of Lone Oak.
The 200 free relay team of Megan Wilson, Abby Gibson, Nicole McGee and Kathryn James also moves on to state.
On Friday, Hudson was seventh with a one minute, 10.79-second time, re-setting the mark he set earlier this season, and then lowered the mark further to 1:09.43, again ranking seventh, on Saturday.
Gordon, a junior, advanced to Saturday’s action and had a ninth-place finish in the the 100-yard backstroke. His time of 1:01.91 snapped his MCHS record of 1:02.96, which he set Jan. 18 at Madisonville.
“I expected a couple school records to fall this season,” Stephens said. “However, I was very surprised at the number of indivdual records that were broken this year, especially Paul Hudson bettering an individual breast stroke record by over 5 seconds, and Austin bettering an individual school record in 100 Backstroke.”
Park came within a second of breaking the 100 freestyle record, Stephens said.
“The amount of time these swimmers dropped in a one-year span is amazing,” the coach said.
“However, considering the effort they give at every practice, I should not be as surprised.”
The top 16 swimmers from each event from the prelims qualified for the finals. Besides Hudson and Gordon, who qualified in both their individual events and in a pair of relay events as well, Grant Park and Landon Lindsey also moved on to Saturday as part of the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relay teams.
On the girls’ side, the relay quartet of Abby Spicer, Allie Pearson, Carli Merrick, and Jessica Anderson qualified in the 200 medley while Sidney Jackson, Allie Pearson, Merrick and Anderson qualified in the 200 freestyle.
Merrick also was one of five swimmers selected in the state by coaches to receive the Sportsmanship Award.