High School swimming: Kenton Ridge sweeps Clark County Invitational

Cutline: Kenton Ridge High School sophomore Evan Blazer swims during the Clark County Invitational on Sunday morning at the Springfield Family YMCA in Springfield. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL COOPER

Credit: Michael Cooper

caption arrowCaption
Cutline: Kenton Ridge High School sophomore Evan Blazer swims during the Clark County Invitational on Sunday morning at the Springfield Family YMCA in Springfield. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL COOPER

Credit: Michael Cooper

Credit: Michael Cooper

Cougars take top spot in boys, girls team standings

SPRINGFIELD — Despite a reduced schedule this winter, Evan Blazer hasn’t missed a beat.

The Kenton Ridge High School sophomore set records in all four of his events as the Cougars won both the boys and girls championships at the Clark County Invitational on Sunday morning at the Springfield Family YMCA.

“We came in really strong,” said Cougars coach Heather Shaffer. “We had a meet last night and got home late, so I didn’t really know for sure how they would do. Our boys team just has so much talent. It’s incredible. The girls won too, so that makes me really happy.”

Blazer won the 100-yard freestyle 48.37 seconds and the 500 free in 4 minutes, 55.29 seconds, setting meet records in each event. In the 100 free, he broke the previous record of 49.86 he set in 2019. In the 500 free, he broke the record of 4:57.79 previously set by Shawnee’s Justin Crew.

“He’s breaking school records, meet records, every time we go to a meet,” Shaffer said. “It’s more expected this time. To know he still has two more years is just incredible. I can’t wait to see what he does the rest of his high school career.”

The Cougars 200 medley relay team of Blazer, Dylan Day, Chase Ffye and Matthew Funk set a new meet record in 1:44.78, breaking the previous mark of 1:46.80 set by KR in 2019.

The 400 relay team of Blazer, Day, Matthew Mayhan and Seth Thomas also set a new meet record in 3:31.26, breaking the meet record of 3:40.19 set by Springfield in 2014.

“You’ve got to make the most of every opportunity,” Blazer said.

The Cougars 200 free relay team of Funk, Mayhan, Ffye and Thomas won in 1:35.23.

Day won the 200 free in 1:56.77, while Mayhan won the 200 individual medley in 2:15.42. Thomas won the 50 free in 22.78 and Ffye won the 100 back in 59.24.

With so much talent, the Cougars will have some decisions to make as they move into the postseason, Shaffer said.

“We have so much talent I’m not sure with relay configurations (for the postseason),” Shaffer said. “It’s a good problem to have, but there’s so much talent, I don’t really know how to spread it out.”

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Springfield High School senior Reese Turner swims during the Clark County Invitational on Sunday morning at the Springfield Family YMCA. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL COOPER

Credit: Michael Cooper

Springfield High School senior Reese Turner swims during the Clark County Invitational on Sunday morning at the Springfield Family YMCA. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL COOPER

Credit: Michael Cooper

caption arrowCaption
Springfield High School senior Reese Turner swims during the Clark County Invitational on Sunday morning at the Springfield Family YMCA. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL COOPER

Credit: Michael Cooper

Credit: Michael Cooper

Springfield was runner-up in both the boys (106 points) and girls (98 points) competitions. Springfield senior Christian Narcelles won the 100 fly in 53.40, breaking the meet record of 54.51 set by Crew in 2014. Narcelles also won the 100 breast in 1:02.40, beating KR’s Thomas by .25 seconds.

Wildcats senior Reese Turner set a new record in the 100 back in a time of 1:01.31, breaking the previous mark of 1:01.94 she set in 2018. Turner also won the 50 free in 25.11.

The Kenton Ridge girls 200 free relay team of Ryleigh Brown, Gwyn Thomas, Taylor Johnson and Sydney Jones won in 1:48.30, breaking the previous mark set by Springfield (1:48.53) in 2018. The foursome also won the 200 medley relay in 1:58.63.

The Cougars 400 free relay team of Kensley Smith, Victoria Oberg, Isabella Alvarez and Maddie Sallot won in 4:45.73.

Jones won the 100 fly in 1:03.73, while Thomas won the 100 breast in 1:08.19 and Brown won the 100 free in 58.72.

Greenon’s Josie Wise won the 200 free in 2:17.22 and Shawnee’s Alana Derringer won the 200 individual medley in 2:21.61. Northwestern’s Brynn Bishop won the 500 free in 7:09.89.

Kenton Ridge had only participated in four meets before the county invitational, Blazer said. He spent his spare time lifting in the offseason to make another run at the Division II state meet. He qualified in the 100 and 200 free last season.

“I want to get as high on the podium as I can, hopefully close to first,” Blazer said.

Until then, the Cougars will relish their county bragging rights, he said.

“It’s always good,” Blazer said. “I love my Kenton Ridge boys. We have a lot of fun, so it was great (to achieve that).”

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