Water Wolves finish 2nd in boys meet, tied for 7th in girls meet
By Andy Collier
Sports Editor, The Bolivar Bullet
Saturday afternoon (Oct. 16) turned out to be a great day for swimming as Cleveland Central High School hosted the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class I North Half Swim Meet at the Ronald G. Mayers Aquatic Center.
The Water Wolves only had seven boys swimmers and four girls swimmers. The low numbers didn’t prevent both teams from having success as CCHS finished second in the boys meet with 97 points and were tied for seventh with Saltillo in the girls meet with 16 points. St. Andrews won the boys meet with 172 points and the girls meet with 154 points.
On the boys side for CCHS, teammates Finn Goodlett and Cruz Oguz had a tight race with one another in the 50-yard freestyle. Goodlett took first with a time of 22.51, while Oguz came in second with a time of 22.71. The Water Wolves also went first and second in the 100-yard freestyle with Goodlett getting first with a time of 51.28, followed by teammate Kelvin Jira in second with a time of 56.66. This is the second straight year Goodlett has won North Half in both the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle events. Oguz also came in second in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:11.55), while Jira finished sixth in the 200-yard freestyle (2:14.02). Rushi Nalamlapu finished fourth in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:13.55) to contribute to the Water Wolves’ success.
In the relay events for CCHS, the team of Goodlett, Oguz, Nalamlapu and Oliver Thigpen won the 200-yard medley relay (1:53.52), the team of Goodlett, Oguz, Jira and Nalamlapu won the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:35.15) and the team of Jira, Gabe Foster, Thigpen and Nalamlapu took second in the 400-yard freestyle relay (4:08.10).
“With seven boys to bring home a runner-up finish in North Half is amazing,” said CCHS Head Swim Coach Jonathan Haynes. “Seven boys were really able to show teams twice or three times their size that it’s not about numbers but about respect, quality and the hard training they put in. They deserve it.”
Haynes was particularly proud of how the guys did in the relay events.
“My boys understood the assignment,” said Haynes. “They came out and beat them. It’s hard to stretch out seven boys across so many events and put out quality performances, but they really did it.”
On the girls side for CCHS, Katy Alvarez finished second in the 50-yard freestyle (29.06) and fourth in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:21.52).
In the relay events for CCHS, Alvarez, Jaidyn Bryant, Caroline Williams and Amanda Mahaffey took seventh in the 200-yard freestyle relay (2:21.48).
Haynes was proud of the overall effort his girls turned in at North Half.
“The girls did well,” said Haynes. “We had a small group of girls, but they’ve been training hard this season. It showed.”
CCHS will travel to Tupelo to compete in the Class I State Swim Meet at the Tupelo Aquatic Center on Saturday (Oct. 23). Preliminary competition will begin at 8:50 a.m. and the final competition will begin at 4:15 p.m.