Team depth helps Marlins finish second

<span><strong>By Harold Coggins</strong></span>


<span>Coach Aaron Jost warned about it the week before. Disqualifications prevented the Monticello Marlins from picking up their second consecutive swim meet title but depth kept the Marlins in second place. </span>

<span>The host Warren Waves summer only program nipped the Marlins summer only team 889-884 at the 11-team Pink Tomato Festival Swim Meet in Warren on Saturday but Jost said he saw some things he liked, even with the disqualifications. The Marlins year-round team finished eighth with 96 points.</span>

<span>“The meet went well,” Jost said. “There were more disqualifications than I wanted, especially since we worked on it last week, but our swimmers will continue to work hard. It was a close meet and we’ll be ready next week.”</span>

<span>The Marlins captured 36 first places at Warren (down from 53 the week before) but finished first and second in five events and showed depth by placing five swimmers in the points in three events and four swimmers in five events. Only 16 points from winning the meet, the Monticello swim team had seven individual disqualifications and three relay mishaps, costing the Marlins at least three event victories.</span>

<span>“Because of that experience, I hope our swimmers will be more tested for the championship meets (both the Arkansas AAU State Championships coming up in El Dorado on July 5-7 and the South Arkansas Swim Association Championships in Arkadelphia on July 20),” Jost said. “And I also expect to have several swimmers qualify for the (AAU) Junior Olympics (in Detroit on July 26-29).”</span>

<span>Saturday, the usual swimmers came through again for the Marlins. Eight-year-old Heather Shrum won four individual events and was part of two winning relays to again pace Monticello in wins with six. Her sister, Brooke Shrum, was part of five wins and Raven Broome and Clay Shrum were part of four.</span>

<span>Heather Shrum was first in all four strokes in the 8-and-under division: the 25-meter butterfly in a time of 24.95 seconds; the 25-meter backstroke in 28.72; the 25-meter breaststroke in 27.09; and the 25-meter freestyle in 21.56. She also teamed with Nicolette Thornhill, Olivia Tumlinson and Riley Kate Derryberry to place first in the 8-and-under 100-meter freestyle relay with a time of 2 minutes,2.91 seconds and with Thornhill, Derryberry and Maddie Newton to win the 8-and-under 100-meter medley relay in 2:16.11.</span>

<span>Brooke Shrum placed first in the 12-and-under 50-meter fly (38.14), the 12-and-under 50-meter back (37.65), the 12-and-under 50-meter free (32.32), the 12-and-under 100-meter individual medley (1:28.46) and moved up a division to help Nora Catherine Saffold, Dailyn Johnston and Mallie Mullins claim top prize in the 14-and-under 200-meter free relay (2:35.36). </span>

<span>Broome finished first in the 15-18 200-meter free (2:56.15), the 15-18 400-meter free (5:54.23), the 15-18 200-meter individual medley (3:19.35) and was a part of the winning quartet with Kellie Moore, Beth Justice and Josie Kelley in the 15-18 200-meter medley relay (2:45.94). Clay Shrum was first in the 14-and-under 100-meter free (1:17.47) and the 14-and-under 200-meter individual medley (3:16.24). Clay Shrum also moved up a division to help Jacob Bonfanti, Sam Pelkki and Jeremy Weih claims wins in both the 15-18 200-meter free relay (2:12.97) and the 15-18 200-meter medley relay (2:41.39).</span>

<span>Johnston, Kelley, Haley Hill and Matthew Justice each won three events for the Marlins at Warren. Aside from the 14-and-under 200-meter free relay, Johnston won the individual 14-and-under 50-meter fly (41.31) and was part of the winning 14-and-under 200-meter medley relay with Taylor Owen, Mallie Mullins and Noah Beth Newton (3:21.02).</span>

<span>Aside from the 15-18 200-meter medley relay, Kelley won two individual events: the 15-18 50-meter free (32.19) and the 15-18 100-meter free (1:14.22). Hill claimed her wins in the year-round division. She won the 14-and-under 50-meter back (41.60), the 14-and-under 100-meter free (1:21.60) and teamed with Newton, Owen and Peyton Pinkus to capture the 14-and-under 200-meter free relay (2:47.77). </span>

<span>Justice won the boys 14-and-under 50-meter fly (34.81), the 14-and-under 50-meter back (38.71) and the 14-and-under 50-meter free (30.75). The other Marlins who captured individual first places were Grace Shrum in the 10-and-under 100-meter individual medley (1:49.90), Joshua Johnston in the 8-and-under 25-meter fly (31.43), Dylan Snuffer in the 8-and-under 25-meter back (31.64), and Jake Harris in the year-round 14-and-under 50-meter back (52.81).</span>

<span>Two relay wins rounded out the Monticello first places. The team of Madison Norris, Marissa Owen, Grace Shrum and Gianna Thornhill won the 10-and-under 100-meter medley relay (1:53.56) and the quartet of Patrick Saffold, Ty Pinkus, Will O’Fallon and Luke Justice took the 14-and-under 200-meter free relay (2:39.51).</span>

<span>While none of these swimmers won, they were instrumental in the Marlins’ second-place finish. Snuffer (45.43) finished second to Joshua Johnston in the 8-and-under 25 meter fly, Clay Shrum (38.30) was runner-up to Matthew Justice in the 14-and-under 50-meter fly, Joshua Johnston (32.64) swam second to Snuffer in the 8-and-under 25-meter back, Joe Hurley (50.49) finished behind Matthew Justice in the 14-and-under 50-meter back and Beth Justice (3:21.93) was second to Broome in the 15-18 200-meter free. The girls 14-and-under 50-meter back, the 15-18 100-meter back and the 14-and-under 50-meter free showed the true depth of Jost’s team, though.</span>

<span>The Marlins did not win any of those events but Dailyn Johnston (second, 45.41),  Saffold (third, 45.42), Mallie Mullins (fifth, 47.58), Peyton Pinkus (seventh, 49.72) and Owen (eighth, 50.40) gave Monticello five of the eight scoring swimmers in the 14-and-under 50-meter back. Marlins swimmers placed second through sixth in the 15-18 100-meter back and second, tied for fourth, seventh and eighth in the 14-and under 50-meter free.</span>

<span>Kelley (second,1:28.99), Broome (third, 1:30.21), Emily Grubbs (fourth, 1:35.01),  Moore (fifth, 1:39.78) and Jessica Stratton (sixth, 1:41.66) gave the Marlins the most points of any team in the 100-meter back as did Saffold (second, 40.17), Kaylei Calhoun and Peyton Pinkus (tied for fourth, 40.78), Owen (seventh, 42.55) and Newton (eighth, 45.10) in the 50-meter free.</span>

<span>Saturday, the Marlins will travel to Arkadelphia for a meet at Ouachita Baptist University before ending the month of June by hosting a second Monticello Swim Meet at McCloy Park on June 29. </span>

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