Highlands Middle School swim team scores big in championship

The Highlands Boys and Girls Middle School swim team traveled to the 10 lane Asheville Pool on Oct. 7 to compete in the 2021 Far West NC Middle School Swimming Championships.

As they’ve done throughout the season, against 5 larger teams, the 6 boys won all of their events.

The 4 girls also did well scoring a 2nd and 2 thirds.

Highlands competes at the Far West Middle School Swimming Championship. Front row from left are Tate Wilson, Layla Babac, Cassie McDowell, and Margaret Cole. Back row from left are Conner Hughes, Paolo McRae, Timmy McDowell, Aniah McKim, Jim DeLaCruz, and Chase Kenter.

The Boys were led by Aniah McKim who won the Individual Medley (IM) and the
Breaststroke and scored 45 points. Chase Kenter won the Butterfly and finished 2nd in the IM with 43 pts. Paolo McRae finished 2nd in the Fly and 3rd in the Breaststroke and scored 40 pts.

Aniah McKim

Conner Hughes won the 50 freestyle and the backstroke scoring 37.5 pts. Timmy McDowell won the 100 free and finished 2nd in the 50 back with 35.5 pts. Jim DeLaCruz finished 9th in the 100 free and 11th in the 50 free scoring 7 pts.

Tate Wilson led the Girls team finishing 2nd in the 50 free and 4th in the backstroke scoring 34 pts. Layla Babac finished 3rd in the IM and 7th in the breaststroke with 29 pts.

Tate Wilson

Margaret Cole finished 3rd in the butterfly and 7th in the 100 free scoring 29 pts. Cassie McDowell, the youngest member of the teams and the only 6th grader finished 8th in the 50 free and 14th in the breaststroke with 15 pts.

The Boys Medley relay of Hughes, McKim, Kenter, and McRae won the Medley Relay, and McRae, Kenter, McDowell, and McKim won the free relay.

Margaret Cole

The girls medley relay finished 6th and 4th in the free relay.

These were all outstanding finishes as there were 40 to 50 entries in many of the events. The boys finished 3rd, the girls finished 5th, and the combined team took 3rd. 7 of Highlands’ 10 swimmers will move up to the High School team next year.

Cassie McDowell

Highlander Jasmine Abranyi won the IM and the 100 free swimming for Rabun Gap Nacoochee School.

Highlands hosted Macon and Rabun Gap 

The Highlands Middle School Swim Teams hosted Macon Middle School and Rabun Gap Nacoochee Middle School on Oct. 1.

Spirits were high for the Highlands Middle School swim team when they hosted Rabun Gap and Macon Middle on Oct. 1.

The boys won all 8 of their events, while the girls won 4 of their 8 for wins in 12 of the 16 total events.

The teams were led by Aniah McKim, Chase Kenter and Layla Babac who each won all 4 of their events McKim and Kenter scored 60 points, the most possible in the meet.  Babac scored 58.5.

McKim won the 100 yd freestyle and the Butterfly, Kenter the Individual Medley (IM) and the breastroke, and Babac the 50 and 100 free. There were as many as 19 swimmers in each race.

Paolo McRae, Timmy McDowell, and Tate Wilson all won a race and finished 2nd in a race.  McRae won the 50 free and got 2nd in the breaststroke scoring 57 pts, McDowell won the backstroke and got 2nd in the 100 free also for 57 pts, and Wilson won the butterfly and finished 2nd in the 100 IM finishing with 55.5 pts.

Paolo McRae

The boys relay team of Kenter, McKim, McRae, and McDowell won both the Medley and freestyle relays; the girls Relay of Wilson, Babac, Margaret Cole, and Cassie McDowell won their Medley Relay and got 2nd in the Free Relay.

Cole scored 2nd in the butterfly and 6th in the IM for 48.5 pts. Cassie McDowell finished 5th in the 100 free and 6th in breaststroke ending with 45.5 pts. Also swimming well for Highlands was Jim DeLaCruz, in his 2nd swim meet ever, who scored 6th in the 100 free and 5th in the 50 free scoring 27 pts.

The Highlands Middle School swim team at the beginning of the season in Franklin on Sept. 9. Pictured at the top of the article is the Highlands MS swim team. From left are Cassie McDowell, Paolo McRae, Tate Wilson, Timmy McDowell, Jim DeLaCruz, Chase Kenter, Aniah McKim, Margaret Cole, and Layla Babac.

With the top 16 swimmers in each event scoring, the 5 person boys team and the 4 person girls team, though winning 12 of 16 events, were overwhelmed in the final scores by the much larger Macon Middle and Rabun Gap teams. Highlands boys finished 2nd, the girls 3rd, and Highlands 2nd overall.

Of local interest, 2 of the 4 events that Highlands did not win were won by Highlander Jasmine Abranyi, member of the Highlands Hurricanes Swim Team who was swimming for Rabun Gap where she attends school. Abranyi won the IM and the backstroke.

Pictured at the top of the article is Timmy McDowell.

By Coach Steve Hott

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