Wildcat swimmers make most of opportunities

By Steven Kochersperger
With only a month left until sectional swimming and diving the Mount Vernon Wildcats looked to tune things up and continue to improve this week. The teams did just that as several swimmers and divers set personal bests on their way to a successful week. The girls team beat Memorial on Thursday before defeating Tell City and Vincennes on Saturday while the boys team lost to Memorial but bounced back by beating Tell City and Vincennes Lincoln. All in all it was a week that will hopefully propel the Wildcats towards more victories in the last month of the season.
On Thursday the boys and girls both hosted the Evansville Memorial Tigers. The meet began with the girls’ relay team of Rachel Burke, Drew Glover, Samantha Gowdy, and Clara Baggett cruising to victory in the 200 yard medley relay race. The team finished the race a full three seconds ahead of the Memorial second place relay team.
The girls continued their success when Claudia Crawford swam to victory in the 200 yard Freestyle race. Crawford, who continues to stack up wins under her belt, won with an impressive time of 2:03.63.
Wildcat juniors Clara Baggett and Rachel Burke finished one and two for the Cats in the 200 yard IM race before Samantha Gowdy won the 50 freestyle race to continue the great day for the girls team. Overall the girls had no problem dispatching the Tigers as they cruised to yet another victory for Mount Vernon.
The boys did well but were not able to pick up the victory against Memorial Thursday evening. Jacob Poole continues to lead the way for the Wildcats as he won both the 200 yard IM race and the 100 yard butterfly races.
In diving action Thursday night Mount Vernon’s Katie McDonald put up some great numbers with a total of 192 points but fell well short of Memorial’s Sarah Hayhurst who scored an impressive 241 points to take home first in diving.
The split against the Tigers helped Mount Vernon feel really good about what they are doing in the pool and set up even more success on Saturday as they hosted the Vincennes Lincoln Alices and the Tell City Marksmen.
The usual suspects had their great days for Mount Vernon girls’ and boys’ teams with several members having career best times and scores.
Some of those who had lifetime bests were Amanda Duckworth in diving, Taylor Culley, Josie Mercer, Jordan Crabtree, and Bailey Shumate. Crabtree had his personal best in the 100 yard butterfly race beating his old time by .02. All of those athletes should be proud of their great accomplishments and helped Mount Vernon easily beat the Marskmen and Alices on Saturday.
In diving Katie McDonald continued to lead the way for the Wildcats becoming the first diver in Mount Vernon to surpass 215 points since 2001. McDonald is now only 9.8 points away from Gretchen Bandoli’s school record set back in 1995.
The wins now propell Mount Vernon forward in their schedule and both teams look to continue their success this week. The swimmers and divers will be back at home this Thursday afternoon as they host Boonville in the last duel meet before traveling to the Big Eight Conference meets next week.

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