Checking in with the White County High School swim team
By Sparta Live | January 31, 2019 10:00 am
Last Updated: January 31, 2019 at 12:13 pm
By Eli Rushing
The month of January has proven fruitful for the men’s and women’s swim teams at White County High School.
At a meet on Jan. 5, three WCHS records were broken. two women qualified for regionals, and numerous personal bests were set. Evan Welch brought her A-game as she placed first in the 200-meter individual medley, setting a new school record of 2:37.80 and punching her ticket to the regional meet. She also finished first in the 100 free with a time of 1:01.40 and shattered another school record with her second-place finish in the 100-meter breaststroke (1:26.28).
Abby Welch also impressed with her victory in the 200 free in which she set a new personal best of 2:30.92. Her time of 1:17.95 in the 100-meter backstroke set a school record and qualified her for regionals in what was a successful meet for the Welch sisters.
In addition to these achievements, personal bests were set by Madisyn Houghton in the 50 free (33.28) and 100 free (1:14.44), Maley Tollison in the 100 free (1:22.45), Maya Most in the 50 free (35.92) and 100 free (1:26.23) and Makayla Pope in the 50 free (42.28) and 100 free (1:42.27).
On Jan. 10, a divisional meet was held in Gallatin. White County team members found themselves knotted in a three-way tie with Davidson Academy and Heritage Christian for first place. Their combined record stood at 7-1 on the day and earned them such a prestigious place in the standings.
Individually, Ben Hillis finished second in the 100 free (1:02.66) and set a personal best of 26.17 in the 100 free, and Caleb Most finished fourth in both the 50 free (26.97) and 100 free (1:03.30). Additionally, a third-place finish in the 200 free relays (2:05.53) was led by Caleb Most, Ben Brandes, Rhett Robinson, and Ben Hillis.
For the women, Evan Welch set yet another WCHS record with her second-place finish in the 200 Individual Medley (2:34.45) and also finished first in the 500 free (5:55.59). Abby Welch finished first in the 200 free (2:28.98) and broke the White County 100 backstroke with her third-place finish of 1:17.16.
Personal bests were set by Karley Warner in the 50 free (33.07), Madisyn Houghton in the 100-breaststroke (1:30.94), Kiya Simmons in the 100-breaststroke (1:49.42) and Makayla Pope in the 100 free (1:40.65). In the 400 free relays, Katie Anderson, Maya Most, Macey Tollison and Karley Warner led the women to a first-place finish (5:31.89). WCHS records were set in the 200 medley relay in which Abby Welch, Madisyn Houghton, Zoey Layne, and Evan Welch placed third with a time of 2:20.53 and in the 200 free relays in which the same group finished second with a time of 2:03.85.
Later that week at the Sewanee Snowball Invitational, the women broke another record with their 200 medley relay in which Zoey Layne, Karley Warner, Abby Welch, and Evan Welch finished in 2:05.98 and the men performed well in their 200 free with a 2:04.77 finish bolstered by Caleb Most, Ben Brandes, Rhett Robinson, and Ben Hillis.
Ben Hillis set personal bests in the 50 free (26.15), 100 free (1:00.28) and 50-fly (30.31) while Ben Brandes also met his personal bests in the 50 free (32.71) and 100 free (1:20.42). For the women, Evan Welch set a WCHS record with her 34.70 finish in the 50 back, and Zoey Layne also set a new high water mark for the school with her 34.20 finish in the 50-fly.
At the regional swim meet Jan.25, both teams continued to make strides. The women set school records in the 200 medley relay (2:17.92) with the help of Abby Welch, Madisyn Houghton, Zoey Layne, and Evan Welch and the 200 free relays (2:02.03) thanks to Zoey Layne Karley Warner, Abby Welch, and Evan Welch.
In the individual events, Evan Welch placed 34th out of 185 swimmers in the 50 free (27.32) and 38th out of 122 in the 100 free (59.78). Abby Welch placed 47th out of 90 with her new personal best of 2:25.00 in the 200 free and 66th out of 89 in the 100 back (1:15.55, New School Record). Zoey Layne finished 124th of 185 in the 50 free (30.26), Ben Hillis ended up 99th of 181 in the 50 free (25.83), and 127th of 150 in the 100 free (1:01.42) and Caleb Most rounded out the day finishing 123rd of 181 in the 50 free (26.39). These young teams continue to grow and they will root on Evan Welch, as she participates in the TISCA State Meet at the Centennial Sportsplex, on Feb. 8 and Feb. 9.