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Swordfish 3rd At League Championships

SALEM - This past weekend Salem attempted to defend their Southern Illinois Swim League Championships at the meet held at the Salem Aquatics Center. 

DuQuoin had other plans as they raced out to a first place finish with 619.5 points followed by Herrin at 551 and then the Swordfish with 427 points.  Although no longer the league champ, Salem had a great season.  Slightly undersized, the Swordfish won all but one of their dual meets.  

At the invitational, the Boys 9-10 100m medley set a new league record as did the Girls 13-14 200m team earlier in the season.  Jairon Stroud came just short of matching his league record in the 7-8 50m freestyle, a record he marked in the previous week, but Haddon Lybarger made his mark in the 9-10 50m freestyle with his time of 31.15.  

Salem gave a strong showing throughout the individual races, but the Swordfish struggled early on in the relay events.  Michelle Lynch, Grace Foltz, Maggie Telford, and Kaitlyn Mayer were able to take first in the 13-14 200 meter relays in both the medley and freestyle.  Their medley time of 2:20.81 was 14 seconds better than second place Herrin.

The boys 9-10 relay team of Brogan Gregg, Keegan Rutledge-Jukes, Jairen Stroud and Haddon Lybarger clinched the 100 meter races in both the freestyle and medley.  They won both races by more than 15 seconds.

In the boys 9-10 25m butterfly, Rutledge-Jukes, Gregg and Alek Bandy each took the top three spots to earn valuable high points for the Swordfish.  Lola Lybarger and Anndi Rutledge-Jukes took second and third in the Girls 6-and-under 25m freestyle.

Caden Cole and maggie Telford were able to sweep the 11-12 50m butterfly, Cole winning his race in 36.5 seconds and Telford hers with a time of 33.31 seconds.

Keegan Rutledge-Jukes and Caroline Foltz were dominant in the 9-10 100m intermediate category, both winning by over seven seconds.  Gregg took third in the boys race with a time of 1:44.62.  H.A. Evans won the 15-18 100m intermediate race comfortably with a time of 1:05.03.

In the girls 6-and-under 25m backstroke, Lola Lybarger and Anndi Rutledge-Jukes held a friendly competition as the two swam neck and neck to take the top two spots ahead of the pack.  Rutledge-Jukes finished her race in 30.83 seconds while Lybarger managed to edge her teammate out by 0.36 seconds.  

Caroline Foltz was able to avoid a close finish in the 25m backstroke, winning with a time of 19 seconds with three DuQuoin swimmers finishing behind her within a second of each other.  Evans took the 100m backstroke in his category with a time of 1:06.07.  Haddon Lybarger and Logan Bandy were the top two finishers for the 9-10 age group.

Salem's strongest showings were in the freestyle and breaststroke categories.  Stroud took first in both the 25 and 50 meter races for his age group.  Haddon Lybarger was able to do the same in the 9-10 group, with Bandy taking silver in the 50m and third in the 25m races.  Caden Cole's last second stretch at the finish line was good enough for a time of 1:09.94 and first place in the 11-12 100m freestyle.  

In the breaststroke, there were two sweeps in two separate events for Salem.  First, Keegan Rutledge-Juukes and Caroline Foltz cleaned house in the 9-10 25m , Rutledge-Jukes finishing at 19 seconds and Foltz clocking in at just .37 seconds better than her runner-up.  Grace Foltz took first with a time of 1:21.47 in the 15-18 100m, and teammate H.A. Evans won the race for the boys.  Maggie Telford won in the 11-12 group.

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