Highlands swims well at Far Western North Carolina MS championship

By Steve Hott, Head Coach Highlands Middle School Swimming and Diving

The Highlands Middle School swim teams concluded their 2023 season at the Far Western North Carolina Middle School Swimming Championships held at the Buncomb County Schools Aquatic Center on Oct. 13.

Highlands Ivan Shchelgachov competes in the final meet of the regular season at home on Oct. 6.

The boys team finished 2nd, and combined with the 3 member girls team they finished 4th.

As they have been all season, the Highlander boys were led Ian Batista and Junior Olympians Blake Kenter and Justin Powell. Kenter was the meet and season high scorer with 47.5 points for the meet, 239 for the season and a 3rd place finish in the meet.

Highlands Penelope McRae races freestyle at home.

Batista and Powell both brought home 46.5 pts at the meet. Batista had 235 for the season, Powell 225 and a 3rd place finish at championships. Aleks Petric-Sakonjic won 41.5 points at the meet, 128 for the season and a 2nd and a 3rd at the meet.

Highlands Justin Powell competes in the freestyle relay. Powell’s goggles were torn off during his second lap but he raced on unphased by the annoying mishap.

Ivan Shchelgachov scored 34 and 189 pts, while Junior Olympian Corena Dearth had 26 and 128. Alex Lopez brought home 23 and 133.5; Emilina Hernandez 20 and 160; Penelope McRae 17 and 109.5. Also contributing through out the season but absent from the meet Miley Zagal had 58 pts for the season and Cassie McDowell 15.

Highlands Blake Kenter helps a teammate out of the pool after finishing a relay race at home.

Highlands Middle School Swim Team Closes out regular season at home

Highlands Middle School Swim Team closed out its regular season at home with the boys team taking 2nd behind Macon Middle on Oct. 6. The combined boys and girls team finished 4th.

Highlands Elizabeth Burnette races freestyle during a relay.

The Highlanders were led by Junior Olympian Justin Powell who scored 52.5 pts and two 2nd place finishes.  Ian Batista brought home 51.5 pts and a 2nd and a 3rd.  Junior Olympian Blake Kenter won 50.5 pts including two 3rds.

Highlands MS boys changing swimmers during a freestyle relay at home.

Ivan Shchelgachov scored 41 pts and a 3rd, while Alex Lopez (just returning after an injury) had 37.5 pts. Jr. Olympian Corena Dearth led the girls with 30 pts and a 3rd place finish. Emilina Hernandez brought home 27 pts and Penelope McRae 20.

Pictured at the top of the article is Highlands Corena Dearth competing in the breast stroke at the final meet of the regular season at home.

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