Young Pam Pack opens up swim season with pair of second-place finishes

Published 1:14 pm Wednesday, December 5, 2018

WASHINGTON — Having lost 15 swimmers from last season, but with 10 freshmen added to the ranks, the Washington swim team entered the season’s first meet on Saturday a bit light on experience, as well as lacking some practice time due to Hurricane Florence.

Despite these bumps in the road, both the boys and girls Pam Pack swim teams opened the season with second-place finishes, coming behind only Swansboro’s squads in a meet Washington hosted.

“Overall, I’m very proud of how both the boys and girls teams performed on Saturday,” Washington head coach Kaitlyn Richards said. “Due to Hurricane Florence, we faced a lot of setbacks and these kids have worked hard to improve and learn despite our challenges that we have faced this season. I’m eager to see their growth throughout the year.”

The boys Pam Pack team scored 111 points, behind only Swansboro’s score of 138, with Northside coming in third with eight points. The Lady Pack finished with 89 points, with Swansboro scoring 150 to take first. Southside and Northside finished tied for third, with 12 points apiece.

Led by Braeden Beach, Patrick Lovenberg and Tristan Pake, the boys won seven events. Beach, Lovenberg, Pake and Hodges Tubaugh earned first in the 400-meter freestyle relay. Lovenberg, Pake, Tubaugh and Tripp Pippin won the 200-meter medley relay. Beach also won the 50-meter freestyle and the 100-meter freestyle. Lovenberg also placed first in the 100-meter breaststroke, while Pake won both the 100-meter backstroke and 200-meter individual medley. Jacob Naylor was Northside’s highest finisher among the boys, placing fifth in the 50-meter freestyle.

Among the girls, Washington won four events. Anna Yoder, Gina Delmonte, Tianna Van Cura and Claire Shepherd teamed up to win the 400-meter freestyle relay. Shepherd also placed first in both the 100-meter freestyle and 200-meter freestyle, while Yoder won the 200-meter individual medley. Darah Cole, Southside’s sole representative, won the 100-meter backstroke and took second in the 50-meter freestyle. Micaela Martinez won Northside’s only event of the meet, placing first in the 50-meter freestyle, while coming in second in the 100-meter freestyle.

Richards is entering her second year as Washington’s swim coach and said the experience she has gained has helped her better prepare her team. Having a young team this year, Richards said she wants her swimmers to focus on technique and improving themselves, and not so much on results.

“Our team is young, Richards said. “I always try to remind them that it isn’t always about the points, but what is important is improving your times, making goals, and reaching them through hard work. We have been focusing heavily on technique and polishing the skills that they already have now. A lot of our swimmers this year are new, so we have also been learning different strokes. In particular, I want them to work on their competitiveness now that we have our first meet under our belts. It’s time to grow and improve times.”