The Russellville High School Swimming Panthers were in action for the first time this season on Saturday, Nov. 21, at the Rick Cohn Tiger Invitational held at Hopkinsville High School. It was an extra special day as the team had Dillon Porter return to the team! Katie Ray Holloman, a former-Cougar-swimmer-turned-Panther, and two newbies, Katie Paul and Morgan Bryant, also began with the swimming program. The Panthers also have a girl’s relay team again this year which there hasn’t been a relay team since the 2013-2014 season. The girl’s relay team finished 9th of 15 teams in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 2:14.04! This is not bad for a team of girls that are just now getting to know each other personally and are learning how to work together effectively. “There’s still plenty of season left to fine-tune and shave time. It’s exciting to think of all the possibilities for these four athletes”, says Coach Toni Hall.
Here’s the breakdown of our swimmers’ performance this past weekend: Dillon Porter put up good times with his return to high school swimming – 32.33 in the 50 free, and 1:26.66 in the 100 breast. Ben Slack finished 8th in the 100 fly with a 1:09.19 and had a time of 2:37.90 in the 200 IM. Cole Celsor finished 13th in the 50 free with a time of 28.91, and his 100 free time was 1:05.15. Morgan Bryant put up a time of 34.98 in the 50 free and a 1.19.17 in the 100 free. Katie Ray Holloman’s 50 free time was 31.38, and her 100 free time was 1.13.31. Katie Paul put up a time of 35.86 in the 50 free. Kate Bouldin finished 5th in the 500 free with a time of 6:26.04 (her first time to swim this event in the high school venue), and she finished 11th in the 100 back with a 1:17.21.
This year’s swimming roster includes: Captain, Kate Bouldin (senior), Cole Celsor (sophomore), Dillon Porter (sophomore), Katie Paul (sophomore), Katie Ray Holloman (freshman), Ben Slack (8th grade), and Morgan Bryant (8th grade). Obviously, Coach Hall is having to call girls by their first and last name this season – you can’t just say “Kate” or “Katie” – practice is always a good time. This year’s team members are excited, and they have already formed incredibly strong bonds.