In black and white, the final numbers don’t look particularly good. But the Arab Riptide’s performance at Madison last Thursday showed the team has plenty of potential.
In its season debut, Arab garnered 112 points vs. 600 scored by a powerful Madison squad. The numbers aren’t deceiving – the Madison Dolphins are that good – but there is more behind the numbers than meets the eye.
“The score line wasn’t exactly fair for us,” Riptide head coach Richard Moser. “We don’t score for second-place finishes on relays and we had several relays that were very close and could have gone either way.”
Several individuals also showed they’ll be factors before the 2021 season is over.
“Many of our older swimmers haven’t competed in two years and they just hung with the best team in the state,” Moser said. “We showed that we belong with them.
“Maddie Nunley broke one of our pool records in the 50 (yard) free. She went 26.29. The previous record was 26.59.
“Colby Franklin nearly broke the pool record in the 50 breaststroke – he’s less than a second off so I’m certain he will break that this year. He’s certainly one of the best breast strikers that I’ve ever coached.
“After competing the other night, I can definitely confirm that our 11-12 girl age group is the deepest of any age group in our league. The A relay finished a close second to Madison in both their relays and our B relay finished a close third, beating their B relay soundly.”
Assistant coach Mary Kelley Shumate pointed out that Arab’s the 11-12 200 medley relay team finished just over one second behind the the Riptide’s 15-18 swimmers at the same distance, very promising for the first meet of the season. That 15-18 group included 13-year-old phenom Nunley, who swam up two age groups in that race.
The 11-12 medley relay swimmers at Madison were Sierra Brom, Anderly Shumate, Emma Garrison and Lauren Lambert.
“We will definitely lean on that age group for points this year,” Moser said. “Overall great start to the season. We should be competitive in all the rest of our meets this season.”
That included Tuesday night at Scottsboro in a tri-meet that also included Fort Payne.
That meet was interrupted by a storm and wasn’t completed, but Riptide swimmers who did get to compete showed improvement.
“From the few events we were able to swim, kids definitely dropped their times,” Moser said.
The Arab Tribune will have more results next week.
The Riptide’s next meet is at Boaz today, followed by tri-meet Tuesday at Cullman that also includes Decatur.
The first home meet is June 22 against Decatur. That will be followed with a meet at Albertville on June 24 before the Marshall County meet at Arab on June 26 kicks off a three-date homestand.
Arab hosts Jacksonville on June 29 and Guntersville on July 1.
Against Madison, other top performers included:
• Bentley Bowling (9-10) taking first place over Madison swimmers in the 50 freestyle and 100 free. He also finished second in the 50 breaststoke;
• Reid Harper (8-under) finished first in the 25 free and 25 butterfly;
• Nunley (13-14), in addition to her record swim in the 50 free, also took first place in the 50 breaststroke and 100 free;
• Brom (11-12) finished second in the 50 free, 50 back and 100 free;
• Wilson Lemke (13-14) finished second in the 50 free and 100 free;
• Colt Yates (9-10) finished second in the 100 individual medley;
• Anderly Shumate (11-12) finished second in the 50 breastroke;
• Owen Lambert (9-10) finished second in the 50 backstroke;
• Hayden Williams (11-12) finished second in the 50 backstroke;
• Brooklyn Williams (8-under) finished second in the 50 free;
• Owen Lambert (9-10) finished second in the 100 free.