SWANNANOA – Saturday was a culmination in every sense of the word for Asheville Christian Academy swimming.
The Lions boys and girls teams combined for 528 points to win a swim meet for the very first time – ACA bested Smoky Mountain (402 points), Union County (349), Murphy (161), Hayesville (68), Tri-County Early College (48) and Andrews (35).
The historic moment was recorded in Murphy’s pool.
“For our seniors especially, this is something that has been four years in the making,” Lions coach Nick Ficker said.
“We’re a small program. We only have 22 swimmers and swimming is one of those sports where depth counts. We’ve progressively gotten better, from getting blown out to getting better. I knew when we scheduled the Murphy meet that we might have a chance, and even with some of our top swimmers away (at a USA Swimming meet), we were able to get it done. The kids we had were fantastic and gave it their all.”
ACA had its share of event-winners on Saturday.
For the boys, they were the medley relay team (2 minutes, 4.21 seconds), Bode Lizarralde (200-yard freestyle, 2:23.54), Chris Clark (100-yard butterfly, 1:07.14), 100-yard freestyle (Ryan Condra, 1:05.46), 500-yard freestyle (Chase Lizarralde, 5:51.28), 100-yard backstroke (Clark, 1:03.79) and the 400-yard freestyle relay (4:37.11).
Girls winners stemmed from the following events – 100-yard butterfly (Ariana Miller, 1:21.22), 500-yard freestyle (Riley Beckstrand, 5:54.59), 100-yard breaststroke (Beckstrand, 1:16.11) and the 400-yard freestyle relay (4:47.54).
Lack of facilities is a long-running problem for Western North Carolina swimming and ACA is not immune. The Lions boys and girls teams only get an hour in the pool, five times a week at UNC Asheville.