Kennett Swim Team concludes season with final inter-squad meet and awards
KENNETT, Mo. - The Kennett Swim Team capped off an abbreviated season with its final inter-squad meet and its annual season-ending award ceremony last week at Sheryl Crow Aquatic Center in Kennett.
Over 130 swimmers competed in the final inter-squad meet Friday.
“I am so thankful we were able to have a season at all,” longtime Kennett swim coach Malinda Harris said. “It ended up being a lot of fun for our kids. We were able to divide our swimmers into two teams and have two very competitive inter-squad meets since we had 180 swimmers in our program this summer.”
Kennett, which traditionally competes in meets once a week in June and July against other teams in the Southeast Missouri Swim Conference, was forced to schedule inter-squad meets as an alternative when its conference season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kennett initially scheduled two inter-squad meets in June and July but was forced to cancel its June meets due to a COVID-19 rise. Kennett held its final two inter-squad meets on July 10 and July 17.
“We missed our first two meets in June because we had to take a little bit of a break due to COVID-19,” Harris said. “But we came back the last week of June and got two weeks of practice in before our July meets.”
The final meet came down to the wire with the Gold Team beating the Black Team 1,166 to 1,129.
“It was a lot of fun,” Harris said. “The kids had a great time competing against each other. I’m thankful to our Swim Team Board for allowing us to have a season and to the Park Board for allowing our program to use Sheryl Crow Aquatic Center all summer. It provided our kids with a little bit of normalcy to their summer.”
High-point trophies were awarded to the swimmer that accumulated the most points in each age group at the final meet. Winners of the awards were: Scout Stokley (6 and under Girls), Layla Crafton (7-8 Girls), Kinley Crawford (9-10 Girls), Kyra Taylor (11-12 Girls), Emma Claire Bodkin (13-14 Girls), Anelle Harris (15-18 Girls), Beckham Jewell (6 and Under Boys), Zayden Sledge (7-8 Boys), Sam Porterfield and Jett Stokley (9-10 Boys Tie), Jax McCormick (11-12 Boys), Ashton Williams (13-14 Boys), and Jack McHaney (15-18 Boys).
“We had a tie in one age group and several other age groups where the next person was very close in points,” Harris said.
Attendance awards were also submitted to swimmers. Jaxon Wilbanks, Brett Bradley, Olivia Raspberry, Ella Wilbanks, Henry Stacks, Cadden Dewrock, Ava Ross, Brooklin Gates, Scout Stokley, Paisley McRill, Addison Crafton, Kinley Crawford, Liam Ross, and Zeke Dewrock received attendance trophies for not missing a practice. Sam Porterfield, Allie New, Anelle Harris, Jack McHaney, Vanessa Nunnery, Kyra Taylor, Jett Stokley, Courtlynn Lynn, Addison Ellison, Annalyse Kennedy, Tayzie Webster, Hudson Cohn, Jake Porterfield and Ariel Webster received attendance medals for missing only one or two practices.
“I wanted to make our season as much of a normal experience as I could,” Harris said. “Those are awards we’ve always presented in the past. Even though we had to stop our season for two weeks I wanted to reward the kids that were there every day when we did have practice.”
Mendy and Andrew Webster were selected by the coaches as the recipient of the Wright Parenting Award. The award was established in 2011 to honor Floyd Wright and is presented annually to parents who go the extra mile to support Kennett Swim Team. Wright, who passed away in 2010, was a longtime Kennett Swim Team supporter, parent, and former board president of the swim program.
“Each year the coaches look for a set of parents that go above and beyond and are more about the team than themselves,” Harris said. “The Websters became part of our program three or four years ago when the moved to Kennett. They’ve been very supportive parents, not only with their own children but also with other children in our program. They help transports swimmers to and from meets and practices and we wanted to take an opportunity to honor them with this special award.”
Kennett has three departing senior swimmers - Emma McCormick, Jack McHaney, and Eliza Raspberry. Each swimmer was presented with an American flag following their final meet.
“All three are all long-time swimmers,” Harris said. “They’ve been swimming since they were five or six-years-old. They and their families have been very dedicated to the swim team for numerous years. We will miss them and their families next summer.”
Harris echoed her thanks to the community for allowing her swimmers to compete this summer.
“I’d like to thank the community for being supportive,” she said. “I didn’t hear anything negative about us deciding to move forward with our season which was a breath of fresh air with so much negativity in our world right now. It was a great opportunity for our kids to get out there and experience a little bit of normalcy in their summer. We are blessed to be in a community that is so supportive and trusts us with the safety and well-being of their children.”