Highlands Hurricanes bring home 22 of 60 gold medals

The Highlands Hurricanes Swim Team traveled to Sylva to compete with 4 other teams in the Mountain Swim League (MSL) conference meet on July 23.

The Hurricanes brought home 22 of 60 gold medals and 5 of 10 outstanding swimmer awards.

Highlands Hurricanes at their end of season award ceremony with a well-timed photo bomb by former Hurricane Elias McKim (arms up in back) who aged out of the program last year.

Outnumbered by Franklin’s team that is three times larger than Highlands, the Hurricanes finished 2nd 439 to 396. Cherokee County Aquatics had 119, Jackson County Swim Team 74, Smoky Mountain Aquatics 65.

Winning the most outstanding in their age group trophy were Aniah McKim, Jasmine Abranyi, Justin Powell, Lilliana Jandera-Chambless, and Bella Batista.

In the points department McKim, Powell, Jandera-Chambless and Batista won all 4 of their events and scored 28 pts. Abranyi brought home 3 golds and a bronze to score 25.

Blake Kenter won 1, finished 2nd in 3 for 22 pts and 2nd place trophy in his age group. Tate Wilson and Jack Sumner each brought home a gold, 2 silvers and a bronze for 21 pts. Sumner got a 2nd place trophy, Wilson a 3rd.

Conner Hughes scored a gold and 3 bronzes, while Ian Kittrell won a 1st, a second, and a third; each scoring 19 pts and a 3rd place trophy in their age group.

Chase Kenter brought home three silvers for 17 pts. Alex Lopez, Emilina Hernandez, and Elizabeth Burnette all scored 16 pts, Lopez’s and Hernandez’s included 2 silvers and a bronze; Burnette’s a gold and bronze. Hernandez earned a 2nd place trophy in her age group, Burnette a 3rd.

Corena Dearth and Paolo McRae scored 14 pts, Dearth with a gold and a bronze, and McRae a bronze and 2 silver.

Ian Batista, Chris Burnette, Jelehna McKim, Penelope McRae, Margaret Cole, Alex Petric-Sakonjic, and Nikita Denisoff all scored a bronze medal and 11, 9, 7, 6, 4, 4, and 4 pts respectively.

Finneaus Garner scored 7 pts, Emma Denisoff 5, Max Jestin 3, Masón Johnson and Eli Highsmith 2. Asa Garner also swam in the Allstars.

The Highlands Hurricanes Swim Team are a Highlands Recreation Park Team that practices at the Highlands Recreation Park Pool in the evenings.

Highlands Hurricane Jelehna McKim was presented flowers from an emotional Coach Steve Hott for graduating the MSL program.

The only requirement to join is that a new candidate must be able to swim 25 yards (one length of the Recreation Park Pool) unassisted.

By Highlands Hurricanes Coach Steve Hott
Photos courtesy of Jackie Wright-Powell

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