Last weekend, the McMinnville swim team competed in the year-end RACE League Swim Championships at the University of the South in Sewanee. Competing against approximately 500 swimmers and over 10 teams in individual and relay events, the McMinnville swim team finished fifth overall.
Coach Todd Willmore, who has been working with the swim team the past few years, saw a great improvement from all his competitors. Though the team was hoping for a higher finish, Willmore was pleased with the effort of his swimmers.
“We finished fifth overall, which was good but below our team expectations, since we have finished second or third in each of the last four seasons,” said Willmore. “However, we saw a huge improvement in swim times across the board for virtually all of our swimmers.”
The McMinnville swim team highlights included the 10-and-under age division completing the morning session in second place. The boys squad also finished third overall.
The RACE Championship consists of two sessions. The 10-and-under swimmers participate in the morning session, while the 11-12-, 13-14- and 15-18-year-old divisions compete in the afternoon.
The morning session provided the McMinnville swim team with its two overall individual champions. Bryce Turnbow won the 10-and-under championship in the 50-meter freestyle. Jacob Evans was the backstroke champion in the same age group.
Turnbow would go on to take second in the 50-meter butterfly and fourth in the individual medley.
Evans had a pair of fourth-place finishes in the butterfly and freestyle to go along with his backstroke victory.
Bailey Turnbow turned in three top-three finishes in the 8-and-under girls division. Turnbow was second in the 25-meter freestyle and turned in third-place finishes in the individual medley and butterfly.
Carla Hubert finished in fifth place in the girls 8-and-under breaststroke.
Jake Toney’s best finish in the 8-and-under was in the 25 backstroke, where he came in second. Toney was third in freestyle. Jake’s sister Katie was a third-place finisher in the 8-and-under backstroke.
Nathan Simmons finished fourth in the 25 butterfly, while Chance Hale matched his finish in the 25 backstroke.
The 8-and-under McMinnville swim team members got the day off started with a bang.
The mixed relay team finished second, with Bailey Turnbow, Byron Chambers, Gracie Miller and Hale swimming the four-part race which includes the members alternating between backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle.
The 8-and-under boys relay team also finished second, with Toney, Chambers, Hale and Simmons comprising the runner-up team.
Miller, Bailey Turnbow, Katie Toney and Ellie Noblin finished fifth in the girls 8-and-under relay.
The 10-and-under boys relay team matched their younger counterparts when they jumped in the pool. Turnbow, Evans, Noah Milliard and Jackson Noblin finished second place in the relay.
Milliard also had a third-place finish in the backstroke as the McMinnville swim team went into the break sitting in third place.
After the break, Hayden Everett got his team back in the top three with a third-place finish in the 50 butterfly in the 11-12-year-old division. Everett also finished fourth in the 50 backstroke.
Everett would go on to team with Luke Hoover, C.J. Rogers and Bunker Brock to finish third in the boys relay.
Other individual top-five finishers in the 11-12-year-old division included, Elsa Eckenrod, Chelsea Stewart, Hannah Wright, and Brock.
The 11-12-year-old mixed relay team of Everett, Stewart, Wright and Brock came in fourth.
Jack Davidson was the lone individual top-five finisher in the 13-14-year-old division. Davidson came in fourth in the 50 breaststroke. Davidson teamed with Neil Matheney, Cole Milliard and Drew Evans to finish fifth in the relay.
The final top-three finish for the McMinnville swim team would come in the day’s final event. The boys 15-18-year-old relay team came in second place and featured Robert Eschenbacher, Kyler Walker, Drew Davidson and Lake Kirby.
Kirby also had a good day individually, as he took home fifth in the freestyle.