The locally-based Myrtle Beach Riptides swim team closed out 2015 with the final two swim meets in December in Charleston and Columbia.
Sixteen members of Riptides participated in the third installment of the 12/Under Grand Prix meet on Dec. 5.
Riptides continued their high success rate with nearly 80 percent personal best times achieved by the athletes. In addition, three new S.C. Swimming State Championship qualifying times, including nine top six finishes and one event win, were achieved.
Ella Speir led Riptides with three new state qualifying times in the 100-yard backstroke, 100-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle.
Hannah McDonough picked up the event win in the 50-yard breaststroke.
Nearly every swimmer attending earned at least one personal best time including Sadie Averitt, Emma Kinmartin, Mason Kinmartin, Caroline Lyons, Jessica Lyons, Olivia Lyons, Kylie McWhorter, Kyle Owens, Madera Palmer, Sterigos Paraschos, Marissa Patricio and Michaela Quiroga-Diaz Betts. Sawyer Averitt and Jack Guthinger rounded out the squad to Charleston.
2015 Carolina Classic
The Riptides’ final meet of the year was the Carolina Classic at the University of South Carolina.
More than 20 Riptides participated in the preliminary and finals formatted meet. For the Riptides, more than 100 personal best times were achieved, as were 10 new state qualifying times.
Other accomplishments included four new age-group sectional championship qualifying times and five new team records. Riptides also recorded 48 Top 10s, as well five events wins.
Eddie Bateson swam to four event wins in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke events and 200- and 400-yard individual medley (IM) events.
Harrison Clinton set new team records in the 50-yard butterfly and 50- and 200-yard breaststroke events. Clinton also added two new age-group sectional championship standards in the 100- and 200-yard butterfly events.
Chad Bateson added another state championship qualifying time in the 100-yard backstroke, leading out the Riptides’ medley relay.
Hurley Cribb added a new state qualifying time in the 200-yard breaststroke and just missed the 200-yard butterfly by 0.26 seconds.
Jake Flaherty posted new state qualifying times in the 100-yard backstroke and 100-yard freestyle.
Hannah McDonough also posted new qualifying times in the 50- and 200-yard breaststroke events. These are her first 11-12 qualifying times.
Ella Speir added yet another state qualifying times in the 50-yard backstroke.
Peyton McWhorter added a new state qualifying times in the 200-yard IM, but also achieved her first 13-14 age group qualifying times in the 100-yard butterfly.
Ian Morgan added two more state qualifying times in the 50-yard free and 400-yard IM and scored his first 13-14 age-group sectional qualifying times in the 200-yard butterfly.
Keyon Berenji, Connor Churchill, Danielle Flaherty, Joe Guthinger, Ella Habib, Kailey Habib, Matthew Key, Ethan Nechemia, Yianni Paraschos, Christian Patricio and Ireland Rose all swam to multiple persona best times.
Andi Churchill was right on her times and achieved a Top 10 in the 500-yard freestyle.
“The successes at both Grand Prix 3 and the Carolina Classic are just a tribute to the philosophy of ‘racing’ that our athletes have truly embraced,” said head coach James Smith.
In September, Riptides Racing Team introduced a new team logo and corporate partnership with Arena swim wear and their modified team name.
“We wanted to distinguish ourselves and incorporate a very simple goal all of our athletes could relate to no matter their ability level. And that is racing.
“Athletes love to race. And if they love racing, they will do whatever they can in training and competition to be successful in this love,” Smith continued. “At nearly every meet Riptides’ have attended, we have seen better than 70 percent achievement in personal best times… this is unprecedented for us.
“Normally, there would be a decline, but we are not seeing it. Athletes continue to step up and not achieve the best times, but are scoring new championship [qualifying] times at every level.”
The Riptides now enter holiday training during the next month. Their next meets are in January 2016 as they prepare to add more state championship qualifiers for the state championships in February.
Currently, 15 Riptides have achieved qualifying times, one off from the team record of 16.