Experienced PM Swimmers Improving

COMPRISING THE PM girls and boys swimming teams are (front left) Kensey May, Sanzhar Abdimazhitov, Breanne Moore, head coach Becca Smith, Taylorann Cash, Matthew Hemmings and Sydney Mahaffey. Not pictured is Ella Floyd.

COMPRISING THE PM girls and boys swimming teams are (front left) Kensey May, Sanzhar Abdimazhitov, Breanne Moore, head coach Becca Smith, Taylorann Cash, Matthew Hemmings and Sydney Mahaffey. Not pictured is Ella Floyd.

With experienced swimmers and the largest turnout in recent history, the Parry McCluer High School swimming team is optimistic about the upcoming season.

The Fighting Blues, under the direction of head coach Becca Smith, have six swimmers, four girls and two boys, up from four swimmers last year. Smith said she hopes the PM girls will be able to compete in relays this year.

Sophomore Kensey May returns after a stellar freshman season, in which she qualified for the Class 1 state meet by placing fifth in the 100-yard freestyle in the Region 1C/2C Meet. She finished 18th in the preliminaries at the state meet, just two places shy of advancing to the finals. May also competed in the 50-yard and 200-yard freestyle races last winter.

May is coming off an individual state cross country championship, and she’s finally able to join her teammates in the pool this week, after running in the Foot Locker South Regional cross country championship race last Saturday in Charlotte, N.C.

Bringing the most experience to the Lady Blues is senior Breanne Moore, a transfer who had great success in the 100-yard butterfly in Utah. Swimming is in the family, as Moore’s mother, Jenna, is the new Southern Virginia University head swimming coach.

Returning for the Blues is sophomore Taylorann Cash, who had an impressive freshman season, placing eighth at the regional meet in the 100-yard freestyle and ninth in the 50-yard freestyle.

Optimistic about May, Moore and Cash, Smith said, “We have a strong possibility of having three state swimmers.”

New to the team is senior Ella Floyd, a swimmer that Smith hopes will help the Blues in relays and individual races.

Sydney Mahaffey is an eighth-grader who will practice with the team and compete as an exhibition swimmer.

Both of the PM boys will swim and run indoor track. Sophomore Matthew Hemmings returns after showing steady improvement last winter. Hemmings’s main events last year were the 100-yard backstroke and the 50-yard freestyle.

The Blues’ other male swimmer is junior Sanzhar Abdimazhitov, an exchange student from Kazakhstan who is looking forward to getting experience.

PM’s first meet will be this Thursday at 6 p.m. at Rockbridge Aquatics Center in Lexington. Rockbridge County will play host, and James River will also compete.

The Blues will have two other meets at Rockbridge Aquatics Center, where they practice at 6 a.m. during the week, scheduled for 6 p.m. on Dec. 13 and Jan. 10.

The News-Gazette

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