MSA has outstanding first day
By By Jeff Byrd
For many of the young swimmers for the Meridian Swim Association, Friday's Firecracker Invitational short course swim meet at the Highland Park pool marked the first time for a competitive meet.
Judging by the results, MSA swim coach Chris Engledow has some talent to work with.
Meridian won the youth short course portion of the meet by beating out eight other teams on Friday. Meridian totaled 497 points to edge the Mississippi Makos team out of Jackson who had 440. Natchez was third with 264 followed by the Tupelo Shockwave with 157, the Mississippi Aquatic Dogfish with 112 and the Bluff City Barracudas had 79.
In the afternoon session, the Firecracker long course meet began. Meridian's top two youth swimmers in Jacob Gray and Holly Corbitt came through with a pair of wins against large fields. Their wins, along with one from David Moody in the boys 400, gave Meridian 79 points to rank first. The Tupelo Shockwave is in second with 64 followed by Vicksburg with 46.
Nine-year-old Meridian swimmer Andrew Dayton won four individual events in to highlight the short-course meet and also led the 10-and-under boys to a win in the 100-meter freestyle relay.
Engledow was quite pleased with the efforts.
"We did excellent," he said. "We won the short-course meet over a strong team from Mississippi Makos out of Jackson and the Shockwaves from Tupelo.
"We had 35 swimmers participate in the shortcourse meet and for our 4-6-year-olds, this was their first time to swim in a meet. I would say 25 of 35 swimmers were swimming in their first meet. A lot of them have been with me for just three weeks."
Dayton was named the boys high-point champion. He won the 100-meter free, the 50 free, the 50 breast, the 50 back and the 50 fly.
David Meek had to go up against one of the top swimmers at the meet in Tupelo's 10-year-old Eric Presley who won five events. Meek took seconds in the 100 free, 50 back, 50 breast, 50 free and swam a leg on the 100 free relay.
The Makos team won nine of the boys events. The Shockwave won five events and Bluff City took three.
On the girls side, Semmes Patridge won a pair of events including the 9-and-under 100-meter free style in 1:28.82. She was second in the 50 breast and won the 50 fly in 45.52.
The Eiferts were well represented with Anna, Betty and Gretha Eifert all getting finishes in the top five. Anna Eifert was second in the 25 breast, second in the 25 fly and third in the 100 free. Gretha Eifert was third in the 50 breast and second in the 100 IM.
"All the Eiferts did real strong,' Engledow said. "Anna and Gretha swam well and Mary Caleb Eifert swam for the first time and she is just four years old.
"Every one of our swimmers won a medal of some sort. This meet should have them filled with a lot confidence," Engledow said.
The long course meet began with the long races, specifically the 400 meters. Gray, competing in the 12-and-under-boys, won a 14-field class in the 400-meter free style. Gray clocked a 4:59.74.
Gray then took the 200-meter intermediate in 2:45.47. Meridian's Chrisitan Eifert was fourth followed by Eric Ducksworth in fifth and Blake Nicholas was seventh. With four people scoring, that gave Meridian 20 points in the event.
Corbitt was tops out of a field of 11 swimmers in the girls 12-and-under 200 IM. She bettered her seed time with a 2:50.47 time in the final. She also took a first in the 400-meter free style. Chesney Tedder was sixth.
Moody won the boys 400-meter free with Ellis Eifert fourth and Jeff Eifert fifth. John Lisenbe was second in the boys 13-14 400 free.
The Shockwaves stayed close in second by winning four events in the girls races and five wins in all on Friday.
The meet continues today with the sprints in free style, fly, breast and backstrokes.