Arab swimmers at state meet

Coach Melissa Kunze was proud of the way her swimmers performed at state.

Nine members of the Arab High School swim team competed in the Class 1A-5A division of the AHSAA Swimming and Diving Championships this past weekend at Auburn’s James E. Martin Aquatic Center.

“Everyone swam season bests or close,” said coach Melissa Kunze. “The vast majority of the swims were personal bests.”

In Friday’s individual preliminary events, sophomore Faith Willingham placed 13th in the women’s 50-yard freestyle. Heath Isom, competing in the men’s 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle, placed 15th and 10th, respectively. Both swam personal bests but neither made the top eight to qualify for Saturday’s finals.

In Friday’s relay preliminary events, Arab’s 200 medley relay team consisting of Isom, Blake Griffin, James Ed Johnson and John Wesson Johnson, placed ninth and were 0.84 seconds away from making top eight to qualify for Saturday’s finals.

The women’s 200 free team placed 11th and set a personal best. Team members included: Hannah McMahan, Kayleigh King, Sarah Beth Sularin and Willingham.

Among those with personal bests was freshman Landon Stone, who in 200 free relay swam his fastest 50 free time. The boys free relay team of Stone, Isom, Johnson and Griffin placed 10th overall but did not make the top eight to qualify for Saturday’s finals.

First year swimmer and first-time state qualifier Isom said he was “very proud” of the team for making it to state this year.

“We worked diligently and gave it our all in order to do what we did,” he said. “Next year we plan to take Arab High School to state again.”

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