Semoball

Team records fall as Poplar Bluff swimmers look for best combination

Elijah McAtee swims the 500-yard freestyle during a meet Tuesday, Sept 7, 2021, at the Black River Aquatic Center in Poplar Bluff, Mo.
DAR/Brian Rosener

POPLAR BLUFF — While still tinkering with the lineup, the Poplar Bluff swim team found a good combination with the medley relay.

Elijah McAtee, Gavin Vaughn, Kastin Caudel and Carson Todd teamed up to shave nearly 8 seconds off the previous fastest time this season and break the team record set in 2003.

The foursome also broke their own team record set last season in the 200-freestyle relay by 3.14 seconds.

Poplar Bluff's Gavin Vaughn swims the butterfly during the 200-yard individual medley Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021, at the Black River Coliseum Aquatic Center in Poplar Bluff, Mo.
DAR/Brian Rosener

“We’ve been trying a lot of different things, a lot of different relay orders,” said Caudel, who later won the 50-yard freestyle with his fastest time of the young season.

“Just trying to find the fastest order for conference.”

McAtee cut 5.83 seconds off his team-record time in winning the 500 freestyle, helped the 200-freestyle relay cut time in the next race, then lined up and won the backstroke by nearly 7 seconds.

West Plains, however, beat the Mules 98-70 by taking the top two spots in three of the seven events the Zizzers won. It was the third time in four meets the teams faced off.

“They’re a great competitor,” Mules coach Kyler Sowell said. “As many times as we’ve seen them they also create a different lineup every time.

“It’s a guessing game on our part on how to create the best lineup with them. I think today is the closest we’ve gotten to them in a while.”

The Mules opened the meet by winning the medley relay in 1 minute, 55.15 seconds, breaking 2 minutes for the first time this season.

Caudel won the 50 in 24.91, his fastest time ever despite it coming in the warmer, and thus slower, waters of the Black River Coliseum Aquatic Center. He also placed fourth in the 100 freestyle.

“I’m hoping to swim faster this weekend at Cape Rock,” Caudel said. “Big meet, a lot of competition, so hoping to do good.”

McAtee won the 500 freestyle in 5:35.53 then swam a leg on the 200-freestyle relay with Caudel, Vaughan and Carson Todd that finished second by 2.04 seconds. McAtee then won the 100 backstroke in 1:12.59.

“He can handle it and he’s doing a good job,” Sowell said of McAtee’s quick turnaround.

Darius Sagharichi finished second in the 100 butterfly and fourth in the breaststroke while Gavin Vaughn was second in the 200-individual medley and fifth in the 100 freestyle.

Poplar Bluff’s 400-freestley relay of Christian Todd, Darius Sagharichi, Isaac Cato and Cyrus Sagharichi finished third.

Christian Todd placed third in the breaststroke and 200 freestyle while Cato cut time in finishing third in the backstroke and was sixth in the 50. Carson Todd was third in the 100 freestyle and fourth in the backstroke.

Cyrus Sagharichi placed fourth in the 200 freestyle and fifth in the 500, cutting nearly a minute off his time. Owen McDaniel was fourth in the IM and fifth in the butterfly. Henry Duncan placed sixth in the 200 freestyle while Billy Hurtz was seventh in the 50.

“Still playing around with the lineup,” Sowell said. “But it did give us some depth where I can switch swimmers around now that I know they can swim (an event).”

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