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Atmore swim team fares well in recent competitions

By By Michael S. Hill
Advance Staff Writer
At least some people in Atmore are staying cool this summer. Atmore's swim team, the Stingrays, have spent a lot of time in the pool lately. They competed in four meets in the span of a week, from July 8-15.
The Stingrays traveled south July 8 to compete in the 18th Pensacola Sprint Invitational Swim Meet. They swam against six other teams from Alabama, Florida and Louisiana. More than 200 swimmers participated in the event.
Although entering only 19 swimmers in the meet, the Stingrays earned 611 points for a third-place finish, their best showing ever in the Sprint Meet.
Three Stingrays finished runner-up in the High Point, or total points, standings: Brandon Sharpless in 11-12 year-old boys, Kaylie Castleberry in 13-14 year-old girls and Cole Norton in 15-16 year-old boys.
The Fastest Man and Woman competitions are 25 meter freestyle events. The six fastest times in the men's and women's freestyle competitions qualify for the additional, final race. Castleberry posted a time of 13.96 seconds enroute to winning the event for the second year in a row. Blake Bell became the first male Stingray to ever qualify for the event and swam a time of 13.03 seconds.
Here are the rest of Atmore's results:
In the 10-and-under division, Clare Jones placed seventh in the 25 meter backstroke, ninth in the 100 meter individual medley, 11th in the 25 meter breast stroke and recorded her best time in the 25 meter freestyle. Hillary Rolin placed 10th in the 25 meter backstroke, 11th in the 100 meter individual medley, 12th in the 25 meter freestyle and swam her best time in the 25 meter breast stroke. Hannah Jones finished sixth in the 25 meter butterfly and posted her best times in the 25 meter freestyle and backstroke. Aaron Sharpless won a medal for his third place finish in the 100 meter individual medley. He also placed ninth in the 25 meter freestyle and 10th in the 25 meter backstroke.
In the 12-and-under division, Sharpless took a first-place medal in the 50 meter backstroke. He placed third in the 50 meter breast stoke, fourth in the 50 meter freestyle and sixth in the 25 meter freestyle. Eva Currie recorded her best times in the 25 meter freestyle and the 50 meter breast stroke. Amanda Hetzel placed fifth in the 100 meter individual medley, eighth in the 50 meter backstroke, 12th in the 50 meter breast stroke and swam her best time in the 25 meter freestyle. Cody Norton won medals for his third-place finishes in the 25 and 50 meter freestyle events. He also placed fifth in the 50 meter backstroke and sixth in the 50 meter breast stroke. Ben Hetzel placed seventh in the 50 meter backstroke, eighth in the 25 meter freestyle and 10th in the 50 meter freestyle. Myles Hollingsworth won two medals for second-place finishes in the 50 meter freestyle and backstroke events. He also placed fourth in the 25 meter freestyle.
In the 14-and-under division, Castleberry took four medals on the day. She won first in the 25 meter freestyle, and placed second in the 50 meter freestyle, breast stroke and butterfly. Her sister Kerrianne Castleberry won a medal for her second-place finish in the 50 meter backstroke. She also placed seventh in the 100 meter individual medley and 11th in the 50 meter breast stroke. Cooper Jones placed seventh in the 50 meter breast stroke, eighth in the 50 meter backstroke, 10th in the 25 meter freestyle and 11th in the 50 meter freestyle. Tyler Jones took home a third-place medal in the 100 meter individual medley, and placed sixth in the 50 meter backstroke and freestyle, and eighth in the 50 meter freestyle.
In the 16-and-under division, Norton swam a consistent meet. He won four second-place medals in the 25 and 50 meter freestyle events and the 50 meter breast stoke and butterfly competitions. Jake Hollingsworth also won four medals. He finished second in the 50 meter backstroke and third place in the 25 and 50 meter freestyle events and the 50 meter breast stroke. Kristi Rigby won a third-place medal in the 25 meter freestyle and placed fifth in the 50 meter freestyle, sixth in the 50 meter breast stroke and 10th in the 50 meter backstroke. Megan Rolin won a second-place medal in the 50 meter breast stroke and a third-place medal in the 50 meter butterfly. She also placed fourth in the 100 meter individual medley and fifth in the 50 meter backstroke.
In the 18-and-under senior division, Bell finished fourth in the 25 meter freestyle and sixth in the 50 meter breast stroke and freestyle events.
In the open-age division, George Jones placed fifth in the 50 meter backstroke, ninth in the 50 meter breast stroke and freestyle, and 12th in the 25 meter freestyle.
34th Junior Olympic Qualifying Meet
Some members of the Atmore Stingrays Swim Team had a layover in Pensacola recently, but it wasn't because of a cancelled flight. Competing in the grueling Sprint Invitational Swim Meet just the day before, nine Stingrays were back at it on Sunday in the Junior Olympic Qualifying Meet.
The swimmers were vying for spots in the 34th Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Junior Olympic Games to be held in Altamonte Springs, Fla., with more than 14,000 athletes representing 26 sports.
All nine Stingrays that competed in the qualifying meet made the cut. In fact, each Stingray qualified in at least three events, and three swimmers qualified for seven events.
The following is a list of events Stingray swimmers qualified for:
For the 10-and-under division, Clare Jones qualified for the 50 and 100 meter freestyle, 50 and 100 meter backstroke and the 50 meter breast stroke. Hannah Jones qualified for the 50 meter freestyle, backstroke and butterfly event.
For the 11-12 year-olds, Cody Norton qualified for the 50 and 100 meter freestyle, 50 and 100 meter breast stroke and the 50 meter backstroke events. Myles Hollingsworth qualified for the 50 and 100 meter freestyle, 50 and 100 meter breast stroke and the 50 meter backstroke events.
For the 13-14 year-olds, Kerrianne Castleberry qualified for the 50 and 100 meter freestyle, 100 meter backstroke and the 200 meter individual medley events. Kaylie Castleberry qualified for the 50, 100, 200 and 400 meter freestyle, the 100 and 200 meter breast stroke and the 100 meter backstroke competitions.
For the 15-18 year-olds, Jake Hollingsworth and Cole Norton each qualified for the 50, 100, 200 and 400 meter freestyle, 100 and 200 meter breast stroke and the 100 meter backstroke events. Blake Bell qualified for the 50 and 100 meter freestyle and the 100 and 200 meter breast stroke competitions.
The swimming portion of the Olympics will be held at the Lake Brantley Aquatic Center July 31-August 3. The trip to Altamonte Springs, which is near Orlando, will be costly. To offer donations, contact Patty Castleberry at 368-8063 or Terri Godwin at 368-9622.