Nov. 7—THOMASVILLE — The Thomas County Central swim team welcomed cross town rival Thomasville, as well as three other teams for the TCC Invitational on Saturday.
"For our home opener, it was an amazing day," said Central head swim coach Ashley Lanatta. "I truly enjoy working with my coaching staff and our swimmers to host a swim meet. We are a family and support each other throughout the season."
Both the Yellow Jackets and Bulldogs performed very well at the meet. The Thomasville girls did well with several top five finishes in the competition. The meet kicked off with girls 200 free and Thomasville's Violet Illian and Lillian Horne took fourth and sixth place for the Swim Dogs. Later, McCartney Bell took fifth in the girls 200 IM with a time of 2:52.38.
The Swim Dogs relay team, beat out the rival Yellow Jackets in the girls 200 free relay. The team of Violet Illian, McCartney Bell, Makenna Ponder and Campbell Newman took fourth in the relay with a time of 1:59.88. But, it was Ponder who stood tall among the crowd as she took first in both the girls 100 yard free and 500 yard free. She finished the 100 free in under a minute and swam the length of five football fields in just 5:28.53. Ponder was one of few competitors who won multiple events at the invitational.
Both the Thomas County Central boys and girls won multiple events, namely Tyler King, Nick Pierce and Chris Pierce. King won both the boys 200 IM and the 100 backstroke, which he finished in under a minute. Chris Pierce took first in the 100 free with a time of 51.88 and the 100 breaststroke at 1:09.90, while Nick Pierce won the 500 free at five and a half minutes and took third in the boys free.
"The coaching staff and I are very excited to see our athletes doing well right out of the gate," said Lanatta. "It shows that there are great things to come this season and in the future."
Johnny Bradshaw and Carolina Knight also had top five finishes for the Yellow Jackets. Bradshaw finished third in the 100 backstroke and had a fifth place finish in the 50 free, while Knight took fourth in the girls 50 free with a time of 29.03.
The Central boys relay team also performed very well as the team of Pierce, Bradshaw, Pierce and King took first place in the boys 200 free relay, coming in at 1:38.40. The Central girls relay team took fifth in the girls 200 free relay with a time of 2:08.19.
Overall, Central's swim team took third and the Bulldogs took fifth. Central's girls team took fourth overall, while the Swim Dogs came in fifth. The Yellow Jackets boys team took second overall in the competition.
The Yellow Jackets swim team will be back in the pool this weekend in Moultrie as they compete in the Packer Invitational starting at 10:00 a.m. Central will host another invitational at the Butler-Mason YMCA on December 9.