Heading into Saturday’s city-county swim meet, both Owensboro and reigning champion Owensboro Catholic knew this year’s title would come down to the final races. Throughout the day, the overall lead went back and forth, but it was Catholic that narrowly edged past Owensboro by 4.5 points for their fifth consecutive overall win at the Owensboro Health Healthpark.
Each team dominated one side of the competition, with the OCHS boys winning by 70.5 points and the OHS girls taking first by 66 points. Daviess County took third and Apollo fourth overall.
Catholic head coach Erica Crabtree said the staff was proud of their swimmers for pushing hard to get the overall win.
“We knew coming in to today that every race would be important,” she said. “Important meaning that we would need swimmers to swim personal best times and place 1st-8th when they were seeded lower. Our swimmers were up to the challenge and were able to pull off an overall win by 4.5 points.”
Owensboro head coach Brad Schmied was just as pleased with the outcome, especially only having seven swimmers on the boys’ team.
“I knew we were heavy underdogs coming into the city meet,” he said. “We are by far the smallest team in a meet format where number of athletes almost always dictates the outcome. The strength of our team was in full display today.”
With so much on the line, Schmied said he challenged his team to push themselves, and they set a few city records.
Samantha Phillips set two individual records (100 fly – 58.69, 500 freestyle – 5:07.82) and was part of a four-person relay that set a new fastest time. Julia Smith, Phillips, Paige Neal and Abby Warren set a 400 freestyle relay record with a time of 3:40.93, 10 seconds better than the previous time.
“We had several record breaking swims along with countless personal bests that pulled us to within four points of an overall championship,” Schmied. “This was an unbelievable effort by our team that is difficult to express to the non-swimming community.”
Crabtree said swimming in unique in that it does not attract many outside spectators, so the teams all support each other.
“School colors are set aside we are all genuinely happy when an area swimmer does well,” she said. “That is what makes our area high school swimmers a community. As we head in to regionals, you will find four teams become one, and they cheer each other in for a victory for our town. That is what it is all about.”
1. Owensboro Catholic – 302.5
2. Owensboro – 298
3. Daviess County – 172.5
4. Apollo – 143
1. Owensboro Catholic – 176.5
2. Owensboro – 106
3. Apollo – 87
4. Daviess County – 78.5
1. Owensboro – 192
2. Owensboro Catholic -126
3. Daviess County 94
4. Apollo 56