The North Lincoln Knights swim team has a lot to be happy about heading into Christmas. North Lincoln menâ€™s team finished first out of three Southern Foothills 1A teams.
The men also swam their way to second place out of Franklin, Owen, Asheville, Hendersonville and Highland Tech at the Hendersonville YMCA recently.
The relay team of Sean Bertran, Collin Mudock, Matt Wentworth, and Kyle Wilkinson along with the team of Robert Howse, Mark Lambert, Aaron NG, and Matt Roseman were strong contenders. Individually, Bertran, Murdock, Lambert, Wentworth, and Wilkinson led the way.
The lady knight swimmers placed third overall and second in conference competition. Nickele Gates qualified for state competition with a second place finish in the breaststroke. Other top finishers for the girl`s team were Sara Edwards, Nicole Baxter, and Kelsy Lee.
In their previous meet, in the first week of December, North Lincoln competed against tough competition in 3A Lake Norman and 4A Davie County in Mocksville. Both the men and women placed third. Top finishers for the lady knight swimmers were Sara Edwards, Nickele Gates, Nicole Baxter, Kelsey Lee, Becky Duggan, and Lisa Haag.
For the men`s team, Sean Bertran, Collin Murdock, Mark Lambert, Matt Wentworth, and Kyle Wilkinson had strong performances.
Overall, the Knights have improved in growth and skill. Last year the team had only 17 swimmers in its inaugural season. This year that number has nearly doubled to 30 competitors. Head coach Libby Fletcher is thrilled that more athletes have decided to swim.
â€œWeâ€™ve been real excited. We have twice as many on the team. Our guys relays have been so impressive. They have been placing very well,â€ she said.
While winning out of three SF 1A teams may be a small victory; itâ€™s a victory nonetheless as the Knights continue to make strides in becoming a top-notch team.
â€œBeing first place our second year, weâ€™re very excited about it,â€ Fletcher said of her menâ€™s team.
The men are not the only swimmers that have swum well. Fletcher points out that some Lady Knights have already qualified for the State Meet.
â€œTheyâ€™re doing very well. We already have two relay teams and two individuals that have qualified for state. I think theyâ€™ve even surprised themselves that their times are so good.â€
by John Mark Brooks