11/15/11 — WCDS-W. Christian swimming

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WCDS-W. Christian swimming

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on November 15, 2011 1:48 PM

What a debut.

Chase Darden -- in his first-ever swim meet -- opened a new era in the Wayne Christian athletics program and continued a strong legacy of short-distance swimmers who have battled in the Goldsboro Family Y pool Monday evening.

Darden, a senior, touched the wall third in 27.78 seconds during the fastest heat of the 50-yard freestyle, and returned later to post a time of 1:07.61 in the 100 free. He easily surpassed the qualifying standards necessary to swim each event in the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association Classes 1-A/2-A championship meet next February.

Teammates Danielle Gentry and Brittney Kornegay turned in the Eagles' top times in the 50 and 100 free, respectively. Gentry placed 12th during her five-hit event, while Kornegay took 14th.

Cameron Foss emerged the boys' top finisher with a fourth-place effort in the 100 backstroke.

"I am very proud of my team," said WCS head coach Shelly Anderson. "This is a new sport for us and we were all extremely nervous. From our first time trails at practice, everyone has improved their times. Everyone has been supportive of each other and encouraging.

"We want to go out and have a good time, and improve at every meet."

Wayne Country Day graduated three state qualifiers off last year's team, and returns to the pool with no seniors on the roster. The Chargers' inexperience showed during the eight-team, season-opening affair.

Robert Glass and Kennedy Dalton churned through the water in their respective freestyle events, and nearly pulled off state-qualifying times. Glass ended up seventh in the 50 in 29.91. Dalton, a sophomore, took sixth in the 100 in 1:18.69.

The foursome of Dalton, Bethany Stoutamire, Kate Thompson and Jessica Eisenhauer placed fifth in the 200 free relay in 2:20.84. The boys' 200 free of Glass, Steffen Stoutamire, Will Bartlett and Ben Eisenhauer grabbed fifth in 2:40.07.

Jessica Eisenhauer took fourth in the 100 breaststroke.

"Both Robert and Kennedy improved from the best time last season," said WCDS head coach Bonnie Hughes. "Jessica shows potential and actually scored the most points for us in the 50 free and 100 breaststroke. First, and foremost, our swimmers are gifted students.

"I am happy that they swim and accept the physical challenge of the sport. If the swimmers stay healthy and focus at practice, we could see some state-qualifying times at our next meet."

The Eagles and Chargers hit the Family Y pool again Dec. 12.