High School State Championships: Arkansas Boys and Girls

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas, February 27. BENTONVILLE High School made it a clean sweep at the Arkansas State High School Swimming and Diving Championships. The University of Arkansas-Little Rock played host to the Feb. 24-25 competition.

Bentonville's boys squad combined for 372 points. Two Little Rock schools'Catholic and Central'tied for the second spot with 271 points each. Conway finished fourth with 209 points, followed by North Little Rock with 164.

Bentonville was led by double-event champion Gage Crosby. The junior clocked times of 52.62 in the 100 fly and 57.15 in the 100 breast. He also swam on Bentonville's two winning relays. He joined junior Lane Bland plus seniors Joey Nemesi and Andrew Halliburton for a 1:40.15 in the 200 medley relay. Freshman Brandon Haefner joined Halliburton, Nemesi and Crosby to put together a 3:20.44 for the 400 free relay.

Conway's 200 free relay of junior Tyler Crosson, sophomore William Bryden, junior Ben Martin and senior Landen Ward combined for a 1:30.95 victory. Crosson nabbed an individual title in the 50 free (21.08) and was denied a second win in the 100 back by 9-hundredths by Arkadelphia senior Ravi Sun (51.23-51.30). Sun picked up a second title with his 1:46.34 in the 200 free.

Springdale senior Dexter Thomas was a two-time champion this year courtesy of his 1:52.54 in the 200 IM and 4:43.71 in the 500 free. Also landing a trophy each were Colton Holland, a junior at Heritage, in the 100 free (48.19) and Parker Meinecke, a Fayetteville senior, in the diving competition (421.50).

Bentonville's girls squad combined for 409 points, well ahead of Conway's 319.5 and Bryant's 176. Fayetteville edged out Mountain Home for fourth, 149-142.

Bentonville claimed two of the three relay titles. The 200 free relay of senior Lauren Tininenko, junior Taylor Hunt, freshman Eunsol Chon and sophomore Alexa Tininenko edged out Conway's quartet of seniors Annie Courtway, Jocelyn Woo, Corissa Calico plus freshman Casey Ragsdale, 1:40.72-1:40.76. Bentonville's team of freshman Jessica Kjellberg with seniors Claire Zettle, Anna Wilkinson and Jenn Haefner put together a winning 3:57.74.

Bentonville picked up two wins from Lauren Tininenko in the 100 back (58.68) and 100 fly (58.45), as well as one each from Melanie Ripple (1-meter diving, 349.00 points) and Chon (500 free, 5:19.54).

Conway managed a relay triumph in the 200 medley relay with Calico, Woo, freshman Sierra Kinworthy and Courtway (1:53.58). Conway's event champions included Woo (200 IM, 2:09.90), Calico (50 free, 24.93) and Ragsdale (100 free, 56.09).

Fayetteville senior Jenny Holtzen also was a multiple-event champion, placing first in both the 200 free (1:54.02) and the 100 breast (1:06.23).

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