High School State Swimming Championships: Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas, February 27. SIX state records fell at the Arkansas State High School Swimming and Diving Championships Feb. 22-23 at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock.

Conway senior Tyler Crosson set two state records with his 20.60 in the 50 yard free and 50.77 in the 100 back. The previous 50 record was 20.83, set by Pearson Gean in 2011, and the prior 100 back mark was 51.23 by Ravi Sun last year. He also anchored Conway's winning 200 free relay (1:29.37) with juniors Hayden Lemons, William Bryden and Isaac Powers.

Bentonville senior Gage Crosby set a state record in the 100 breast with his 56.70. The prior record was 57.02 by Michael Haefner from 2009. And Minki Kang, a senior at Bryant, closed out his high school career by lowering the state standard in the 500 free to 4:32.52 from Chris Jacobson's 4:35.34 from 2009. Kang also finished first in the 200 free (1:42.34).

Bentonville claimed the team title with 430 points. Bentonville was further aided by victories from sophomore Tyler Rousey in the diving event, scoring 360.95 points to Arkansas Baptist sophomore Zac Craig's 354.55, and two victorious relays. Senior Lane Bland, Gage Crosby, freshman John Hedgecock and sophomore Brandon Haefner combined for a 1:39.26 in the 200 medley; and the quartet of Gage Crosby, Bland, freshman Jared Crosby and Haefner put together a 3:17.94 in the 400 free.

Little Rock Central, led by sophomore Blair Bish's victory in the 200 IM (1:57.72), claimed the runner-up spot with 222.5 points. Catholic finished just behind for third (217), followed by Conway (188) and Fort Smith Southside (151).

In the 100 fly, Central Arkansas Christian junior Caleb Hathaway finished first in 51.82. Alex Holyfield, a senior at Siloam Springs, took charge in the 100 free with his 47.60.

The only state record in the girls individual events fell to Bryant sophomore Lindsey Butler with her 58.23 in the 100 back. The prior record was 58.30, shared by Lauren Tininenko and Shelby Cox from 2010.

Conway's 200 free relay of seniors Jocelyn Woo, Annie Courtway and Corissa Calico, plussophomore Casey Ragsdale, bettered the 1:40.72 by Bentonville in 2012 with their 1:39.69.

Sophomore Amanda Crnic joined Calico, Woo and Courtway for a Conway victory in the 200 medley relay (1:52.11). Woo claimed victory in both the 200 IM (2:09.32) and 100 fly (57.89).

Another double-event champion was Little Rock Central sophomore Claire Bristow, who put together winning swims of 1:57.05 in the 200 free and 5:11.73 in the 500 free.

In one of the more exciting events of the state meet, three swimmers finished within 18-hundredths in the 100 free. Carly Arp, a Mountain Home freshman, finished first (54.33), followed by Benton sophomore Hope Ernhart (54.45) and Eunsol Chon, a Bentonville sophomore (54.51).

Ernhart captured the 50 free in 24.26. Chon anchored Bentonville's 400 free relay, which won in 3:44.12, of junior Alexa Tininenko, freshman Katelyn Hedgecock and Jessica Kjellberg.
Alma junior Maddie Edwards' 1:05.67 gave her first place in the 100 breast, and the diving event went to Erin Farray, a sophomore at Fayetteville (388.40 points).

Conway took the championship trophy home with 304 points, ahead of Bentonville (290), Cabot (161), Mountain Home (153) and Jonesboro (141).