The WCHS swim team, which consists of five members, seniors Hayden Everett, Ben Sweeton, and Hannah Wright, junior Marlie Henegar and freshman Sierra Crowe, can easily slip under the sports radar.
They are the high school’s team, but not regulated by the TSSAA. Jennifer Wright is the school sponsor, but their coach, Shawn Cawper Daniels, lives in Tullahoma.
The swim team practices in Manchester, which is a good thing. Even considering the mildness of winter this year, it might still be uncomfortable practicing outside in 40-degree weather. Manchester has an indoor swimming facility which makes a WCHS team possible.
It takes a lot of commitment, coaching and parental support to get to practice six days a week. The swim team practices at the Manchester Rec Center, Monday thru Thursday beginning at 5 p.m. Team members also have practice on Friday beginning at 4 p.m. and Saturday mornings at 8:30 a.m.
Plus they’re good.
Senior Ben Sweeton is going to state for the third time in his swimming career. This year it’s in Knoxville at the state-of-the-art Allan Jones Aquatic Center. Sweeton qualified for the state meet in the 100-meter freestyle, 200-meter freestyle, 100-meter backstroke, and 100-meter butterfly.
“It’s really exciting to be able to travel to Nashville and Knoxville for the meets. The facility in Knoxville is top notch,” said Sweeton, who encourages interested swimmers to give it a try in late fall. “There is all kinds of help, it’s great. We carpool and there are always people there to help us so if you have an interest you can do it.”
It will be the first trip to state for Marlie Henegar, who qualified for the state meet in the 100-meter freestyle.
“It has been my one goal since I started swimming to qualify for state,” said Henegar, who began her formal swimming classes in the first grade. “I just fell in love with the sport and that’s what keeps me going.”
Henegar hopes for an opportunity to pursue her love-of-the-game in college when the time comes.
The state championships are this weekend at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center on the University of Tennessee-Knoxville campus.