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Comet swimmers win district tournament / February 03, 2020
By Mike Moseley

News and Record

The Halifax County High School boys and girls swim teams competed in the Piedmont District tournament last week and won the meet in dominating fashion with the boys scoring a 173 and the girls totaling 173.

Basset was the closest competitor to the Comets in points standings for either team. The Bassett boys placed second with a score of 85; the girls took second with 113 points.

Comet’s coach Shawn Torian has been challenging his swimmers to better their time competition. The team members did a fine job of that at the meet with several getting time below their seed times.

The Comets boys took first place in five individual events and won three relays. The squad also had strong finishes in several other events.

Joe Smiley claimed two first place individual finishes and one relay win. Smiley finished the 200 yard freestyle with a time of 2:23.51; he won the 500 yard freestyle in 6:14:86.

Smiley, Josh Roberts, Ethan Kirkhart and Dawson Epps comprised the 400 yard freestyle relay team which won first place with a time of 4:18.88.

Halifax’s Ashton Burton also had two individual wins. Burton swam the 50 yard freestyle in 24.88. He also headed the 100 yard freestyle where he won in 56.95 – the only swimmer to come in under one minute in the event.

Burton’s teammates Ben Ford and Roberts placed second and third in the 100 yard freestyle.

The team of Jackson Dunavant, Jake Carr, Shea Carey and Burton took top honors in the 200 yard medley relay, winning in 2:01.71. Dunavant, Burton, Carey and Ethan Kirkhart won the 200 yard freestyle relay.

The Comet girls posted four individual event wins and three relay victories.

Maddie Freshhour won the 100 yard backstroke in 1:29.25 and the 50 yard freestyle in a time of 30.91. Zoe Talley placed second in the event at 30.98.

Freshhour was also part of the team of Abby Dunn, Maci Henderson and Zoe Tally that won the 200 yard freestyle relay. Freshhour recorded another win swimming the first leg of the 200 yard medley relay. Lilian Zhang, Henderson and Talley joined Freshhour.

Lydia Wenzel took the 200 yard freestyle in 2:42.39. Lilian Zhang won the 100 yard breaststroke in 1:30.02.

Zhang, Anna Lewis, Lydia Wenzel and Abby Dunn placed first in the 400 yard freestyle relay.

Torian said he was proud of the team’s efforts in the district meet and the entire season and is looking forward to the region tournament.

“It was a great night for Comet swimming,” Torian said. “I’m so proud to be with a group of kids like these. They are respectful, fun, and were determined to win the District Title since the first practice.

“We had some of our best times, from individual events to relays. We are family and each swimmer looks out for the other. We have regional competition on Feb 11 in Christiansburg.”

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