Local swimmers battle at GKAISA

Farragut’s four community youth swim programs fought for top positions behind superpowers Knoxville Racquet Club, once against “City Meet” champion, and runner up Green Meadow.

Village Green was Farragut’s top team at Greater Knoxville Area Interclub Swimming Association 2016 Championship Meet. The Gators finished

third among 31 teams [1,281 points] during the three-day event, Friday through Sunday, July 29-31, in Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center

on The University of Tennessee campus.

Concord Hills Piranhas took fifth [780.50], Fox Den Country Club Foxes ninth [712] and Sugarwood Stingrays 12th [617].

“We had a pretty good day, we had a lot of fast races,” Village Green head coach Sarah Fortney said. “We had some great 9, 10-[yard]-backstrokers that won. Leo Karnitz won the 25-back [9-and-10, 16.10 seconds], Elizabeth Martin won the 25-back [9-and-10, 15.96 seconds]. We had some really big swims from Ben Kozemko [Boys 13-and-14]. Our 9-10 boys [100]-free[style] relay was really big. They’ve been strong all season and they won the free relay. That was a big deal.”

Pete Clower, Leo Karnitz, Cooper McLemore and Tony Spadafora finished first in 9-and-10 free at 56.37.

Corina Tallent won Girls 11-and-12 50-backstroke [29.93].

Second during the dual meet season in powerful League 1 [biggest league] behind KRC, Village Green defeated Green Meadow, “which was big for us because we hadn’t done that in several years,” Fortney said.

Two Gators were honored by GKAISA for performance in and out of the pool.

A 14-year swimmer with the Gators, “Danny Stedham was the overall winner of the GKAISA Service Award, and he’s from Farragut,” Fortney said. “Lindsay Cygan was a finalist. They both received scholarships [amounts undisclosed].

“It was great to finish my last year off and have that scholarship after being on the team for 13 summers,” Cygan, a 2016 FHS graduate, said. “I’m really thankful for all my coaches and all my teammates who supported me and helped me.”

Praising team and parent camaraderie, “Village Green is definitely such a fun place to be,” Fortney said. “It’s an amazing family atmosphere.

“Certainly there’s a lot of tradition that we hold onto,” Fortney added.

Concord Hills finished fifth despite tying for last place in during dual meet season in League 1.

“Our team was excellent, they took hold of every single race that they needed to,” Breanna Folk, Piranhas head coach, said. “Our Senior [15-to-18] mixed relay got first.” Simone Digby, Paul Schechter, Melanie Moczadlo and Matthew Holztrager finished at 1:34.39.

“… We had a lot of first places that we weren’t expecting.”

Moczadlo, 15, also won Girls 25-butterfly [25.89].

Kendall Austin finished first in Girls 8 & Under Girls 25-backstroke 20.24 seconds.

Aydan Skelton won Girls 8 & Under 25-butterfly [16.76].