Poplar Bluff swimmers win meet in Arkansas

POCAHONTAS, Ark. The Poplar Bluff swim team won four events and used its depth in a few key races to win a team title Tuesday.

The Mules won the 200-meter medley relay and the 400-freestyle relay in consideration state qualifying times while Paige Bradley and Olivia Kirkman were first to the wall in one event each.

Poplar Bluff won by 96 points, finishing with 654 as Mountain Home (Ark.) followed at 558. Valley View (Ark.) was third at 211 followed by Jonesboro (Ark.) at 194.

Mules coach Beth Lewis-Muse said the rules in Arkansas differ in terms of how many swimmers a team can enter in one event.

"Very few schools will load up the IM, 500 freestyle and the 100 butterfly so we took our chances and stacked those three events pretty deep with talent, and it helped us sweep up a lot of points," Beth Lewis-Muse said.

Bradley, Kirkman, Audrey Cisne and Simone Anders won the opening event, the 200-medley relay in 2 minutes, 21.4 seconds for a consideration state cut time.

Kirkman, Cisne, Bradley and Gabrielle Fortner won the final event, the 400-freeestyle relay, by just 0.08 of a second in 4:43.93. Fortner, Anders, Morghyn McCain and Audrey Rahlmann earned a state consideration time in the 200-freestyle relay at 2:13.57, finishing third.

Bradley won the 200 IM in 2:53.55 with Cisne third at 3:06.71. Bradley finished second in the 100 freestyle at 1:06.56 for a state consideration time.

Kirkman won the butterfly in 1:17.84 while Jessica Rush followed in 1:29. Kirkman also finished third in the backstroke at 1:22.91.

Anders placed second in the breaststroke at 1:35.23 while Fortner followed 1.7 seconds later in third place.

Bethany Leighty placed third in the 500 freestyle at 5:47 while Julia Smothers placed third in the 200 freestyle at 2:48.53.

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