Poplar Bluff swimming sweeps meet

Thursday, January 3, 2019
Poplar Bluff swimmers, from right, Salah McCormack, Casey Browning, Emily Barry, Morghyn McCain, Ava Smith and Hope Cram take their marks for the 200-yard freestyle event at the Black River Aquatics Center on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019, in Poplar Bluff, Mo. (DAR/Scott Borgkren)

POPLAR BLUFF -- It was a meet sweep for the Mules.

Poplar Bluff, in its first event of 2019, won every event in a duel against Farmington on Wednesday at the Black River Aquatics Center.

The Mules finished with 144 points to Farmington's 23, and that was with several swimmers competing in unfamiliar events.

"Just the fact that we changed the lineup so much. We never swim Paige Bradley in the backstroke, and we very rarely swim Audrey Cisne in the IM, or Austynn Dover in the 500, putting Paige Bradley in the 200 free, normally we have Simone Anders in the breaststroke, and not putting her in the breaststroke was confusing to some people, but we threw her in relay events, and it proved to be just fine," Poplar Bluff coach Beth Lewis-Muse said.

"We were trying to expose the girls to different events as much as we could to prove to them that their is depth, and they are better than what they think they are."

Poplar Bluff also swept the podium by finishing first, second and third in 10 of the 12 events. The only two events where it didn't happen were the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard freestyle, where Farmington's Bridget Bone took third in both races, edging out Calli Barker by about 1.5 seconds in the 50 and Morghyn McCain by a little more than a second in the 100.

"I think maybe we've done it once or twice before," Lewis-Muse said. "We've done it a few times in the past 13 years but not even a handful."

Paige Bradley and Raegan McAtee both won all four events they competed in. They teamed up in the 200 medley along with Olivia Kirkman and Simone Anders to start the meet and finished in 2:10.41, beating the Poplar Bluff team of Audrey Rahlmann, Addison Kirkman, Carly Wiseman and Mackenzie Garrett by 10 seconds.

Bradley and McAtee later teamed up with Olivia Kirkman and Cisne to win the 200 freestyle relay in 1:55.06.

Bradley also won the 200 freestyle in 2:18.67, and was ahead of second place by nearly 15 seconds. She won the 100 backstroke in 1:12.06.

McAtee won the 50 freestyle (27.19) and the 100 freestyle (1:01.13) to go with her two relay wins.

Olivia Kirkman was the only Mule win all three relay events. The teams for which were picked by a computer.

Olivia Kirkman, Cisne, McCain and Wiseman won the 400 freestyle relay in 4:36.38.

"We just said 'Computer, add a relay and find us the best four,' so the relays were all computer generated. Then we let the girls kind of pick around their individual events. We don't get to do that often with meets but we had more room with only one opponent." Lewis-Muse said.

Cisne won the 200 individual medley (2:46.66) to go with her two relay wins. Poplar Bluff had nine swimmers compete in the individual medley.

"To be able to swim nine girls in the IM and have that depth, that was pretty amazing. We've never swam that many girls in the IM at once," Lewis-Muse said.

Wiseman won the 100 butterfly in 1:19.98, seven seconds ahead of second place, to give her two wins for the night.

Bethany Leighty took first in the 500 freestyle (6:44.70), edging out teammate Jessica Rush by about two seconds. The pair were shoulder to shoulder on every lap and Leighty was able to gain a little bit of a lead at the very end.

Addison Kirkman won the 100 breaststroke (1:27.27).

"Their technique looks really good. We worked real hard in those three weeks where we haven't had a meet with just tedious technique work, different changes on our turns and just stroke work," Lewis-Muse said of the team. "I'm glad we had this first meet after a long break here because being at home we are able to see more and get a little more close up because the pool is a little bit smaller."

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