The Cleveland Blue Raiders swim team began its dual-meet season after six weeks of hard work in the pool. The Blue Raiders opened last week with a dual-meet victory over Signal Mountain High School with a 163-133 win.
The meet was highlighted by three state meet qualification swims from two Cleveland swimmers. New addition Marlene Kelley, a transfer from Michigan, started her Tennessee swim career with two state qualification swims in the 50-meter freestyle (26.74) and 100-meter butterfly (108.05). Veteran swimmer Abigail Jones followed with a state qualification in the 50 free (27.36). Cleveland was paced by two double winners, Ben Cooper in 200 free and 100 fly and Austin Byerly in the 50 and 100 free.
Sunday evening, the Blue Raiders traveled to Knoxville to compete against Berean Christian and Hardin Valley in a tri-meet on the University of Tennessee campus. The Blue Raiders came in second, scoring 136 points to Berean Christian’s 172 points. Hardin Valley was third with a 126-point effort.
The Blue Raiders continued to add state qualification swims. This time it was Ben Cooper qualifying in the 100 fly 1:01.18 and Abigail Jones in the 100 free 1:00.50.
Cleveland had four first-place finishes. The 200 medley relay team of Meredith Borst, Marlene Kelley, Lauren Borst and Abigail Jones ended with a time of 2:09.84, Abigail Jones won in the 100 free, Meredith Borst was first in the 100 backstroke (1:14:.22), and Nelson Chung topped the field in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.81).
Second-place finishes included freshman and rising star Ben Cooper in the 100 fly and 200 free (2:06.87), Marlene Kelley 100 fly (1:06.84), Chandler Nichols 100 back (1:14.97).
Third-place finishes included Austin Byerly 50 free (26.09) and 100 free (59.66), Marlene Kelley 100 breast (1:18.22), Guy Shelton 100 back (1:07.82) and 200 free (2:07.78), Jason Chung 100 breast (1:14.84), Abigail Jones 50 free (27.34) and Suzanna Liner 500 free (6:30.47).
“We have a solid team with a lot of new swimmers, I’m looking forward to the great things that these athletes are going to accomplish this year. This meet was a good test to see where we are at this stage of the year.” said coach Tim Davis.
The Blue Raiders will compete next at McCallie School in the 20th McCallie Invitational on Nov. 17.