June 5, 2009
Rachel Dees, Cheng Ye, and Rick Deaton combined to win 21 first places May 23-24 to lead the Mississippi Shockwave Aquatics team to the overall title at the Tunica Summer Invitational in Tunica.
Dees, who competed in the girls 13- to 14-year-old age group, won eight events, while Ye won seven events in the boys 11-12 division and Deaton took six first in the boys 13-14 bracket.
The performances were part of a team effort that saw 14 swimmers earn 39 firsts.
The Shockwave scored 2,829.5 points to defeat Memphis Tiger Swimming (second, 2,363) in the nine-team field.
"Long-course season is always tough for us since we train in a short-course pool," Shockwave coach Robert Gonzalez said. "You don''t know how your kids will respond in their first few races. To say the least, they responded well this weekend. Hopefully as we continue this season that comfort level will continue to go up."
Dees, who was the high point award winner for her age group, won the 200 IM (2:40.18), the 50 free (30.10), 100 breast (1:24.64), the 200 fly (2:49.83), the 100 free (1:05.13), the 200 breast (3:04.55), the 100 fly (1:13.73), and the 200 free (2:26.17).
MarkAnne Hobart, 14, took second, respectively, in the 13-14 girls age bracket with 130 points.
Ye, who won the 11-12 boys age group with 140 points, finished first in the 50 breast (36.49), the 100 back (1:19.32), the 100 fly (1:14.51), the 100 free (1:10.19), the 200 IM (2:41.67), the 500 fly (33.04), and the 100 breast (1:18.40). He also was second in the 200 breast (2:49.16).
"Cheng had a phenomenal weekend," Gonzalez said. "To set two state records in one weekend is an extremely rare accomplishment. He took down two records that have been in the books for over 10 years and is now ranked in the top 10 nationally for his age division."
Ye set records in the 100 and 200 breast.
Deaton won the 50 free (26.72), the 100 breast (1:18.78), the 200 back (2:30.15), the 100 free (59.68), the 200 breast (2:53.57), and the 100 fly (1:08.57).
"Rachel and Rick both had tremendous meets in their age groups," Gonzalez said. "Again, it''s always a guessing game on how young swimmers respond to early long course meets, but they had strong showings. I expect for them to only get better through the summer."
Michael Ray and Deaton swept the top two spots in the 13-14 boys age group with 121 and 120 points, respectively.
Ray won the 100 back (1:14.88) and scored in seven other events, including a third-place effort in the 200 free (2:26.34) to win the high point award.
KaylieBeth Hobart earned the high-point award in the 8-and-under girls division with 77 points. She won the 50 breast (57.39), the 50 back (49.48), and the 50 fly (54.42).
Cris Roberts was second in the 11-12 girls age division with 143 points. She won the 50 breast (40.00), the 100 fly (1:15.83), and the 50 fly (32.84).
Eli Jones finished second in the boys 15-and-over age group with 111 points. He won the 200 IM 2:36.28) and the 100 back (1:11.84).
Other girls first-place finishers were: Alma Burwell in the 15-and-over division (200 breast, 3:07.51), Chelsie Gray in the 11-12 age group (100 breast, 1:29.83), Alyssa Muse in the 11-12 age bracket (100 back, 1:17.15), and Olivia Thompson in the 7-8 age group (50 free, 41.90), and Hannah Wilson in the 15-and-over age division (100 free, 1:03.22; 100 fly (1:10.55; and the 200 free, 2:19.57).
Other boys winners were: Luke Leary in the 13-14 division (200 fly, 2:35.48) and Adrian Novak in the 15-and-over age group (200 breast, 2:48.53).
The Shockwave also recorded 22 second-place finishes.
"I was very pleased with our team''s swims," Gonzalez said. "We had a solid meet and improved more than I expected. We had some strong performances from a host of swimmers, which is something we can rally behind this long-course season."
On May 22, the Shockwave scored 303 points to win the short-course competition. The Shockwave won the female portion of the meet (206 points) and took second in the male half of the meet (97) to beat the Tunica Aquatic Club (second, 244 points).
The Shockwave are in long-course season, so the short-course results don''t count toward state times. Gonzalez said the meet was a "developmental" meet for the 10-and-under division.
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.