Published: 2:05 pm, Tue. Feb. 14th, 2017Updated: 2:00 pm
Artesia High School senior swimmer Jonathan Darnell capped off his final District 3 Meet Feb. 3-4 in Hobbs with a title in the 100-meter butterfly and a runner-up finish in the 100 backstroke.
Darnell re-qualified for the upcoming State Meet in both events and helped see the Bulldogs to a fourth-place overall district finish behind Clovis, Las Cruces and Hobbs. The Lady Bulldogs closed out their 2016-17 season in fifth behind Las Cruces, Clovis, Hobbs and Alamogordo.
Darnell will solely comprise Artesia’s state contingent this year. He exceeded the qualifying standards multiple times in six individual events over the course of the 2016-17 campaign: the 100 butterfly and backstroke, the 200 individual medley, and the 50, 100 and 200 freestyles. National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) rules, however, limit swimmers to just two individual events at state.
The senior posted a solid time in the butterfly Feb. 4 with his district-title-winning swim, smashing the qualifying standard by 6.56 seconds with his 58.04 and touching the wall an impressive 8.08 seconds ahead of second-place Qi Zhou of Las Cruces High. Darnell didn’t have his best showing in the backstroke, coming in two seconds over his seed time with a 1:00.04 and .60 of a second behind winner James Skuse of Clovis.
No boys were able to qualify by time in the 50-meter freestyle event at district, with Bulldog freshman Chaise Wolf swimming 1.23 seconds over the mark with a seventh-place 27.74. Also just missing out on qualification was the ‘Dogs’ 200-meter medley relay team of Darnell, Wolf, Carson Anderson and Dakota Thatcher, whose fourth-place 2:08.48 was 1.74 seconds too slow.
For the Lady Bulldogs, senior Katy Webster closed out a solid season’s worth of runs at qualification in the 50-meter freestyle with a 10th-place 32.43 at district, 3.34 seconds off, and finished sixth overall in the 100 freestyle with a 1:12.71.
While the District 3 competition served as the finale for the majority of the AHS swimmers, the teams’ future looks to be in good hands.
Webster, Lauren Robson and Shaylee Fuller will be lost to graduation for the Lady ‘Dogs, but the team returns four juniors and five freshmen in 2017-18. And while the loss of Darnell will obviously be a blow to the Bulldogs, he is the team’s lone upperclassman this year. A pair of juniors and a trio each of sophomores and freshmen will be back next season.
This weekend’s State Swim Meet is scheduled to begin with preliminaries at 3 p.m. Friday at Albuquerque Academy. Darnell will swim the first of three heats in the butterfly. His seed time of 52.29 is third-best in the field. The senior will swim the second of two heats in the 100 backstroke with a seed time of 52.30, the top time in the field.
The top eight swimmers from each event advance to the medal finals and the next eight to the consolation finals, with all final events commencing at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.
District 3 Meet
Girls’ 200 Medley Relay: Artesia “A” (Shania Noble, Katy Webster, Shaylee Fuller, Hannah
Shannon), 5th, 2:36.94; Artesia “B” (Daniella Grado, Samantha Langford, Kayli Glascock, Bailey Callaway), 3:11.05
Boys’ 200 Medley Relay: Artesia “A” (Jonathan Darnell, Carson Anderson, Chaise Wolf, Dakota Thatcher), 4th, 2:08.48
Girls’ 200 Freestyle: Noble, 10th, 2:51.40; Lauren Robson, 11th, 3:02.21; Glascock, 14th,
Boys’ 200 Freestyle: Taylor Green, 10th, 3:24.82
Girls’ 200 IM: Shannon, 10th, 3:12.27; Langford, 13th, 3:33.61; Fuller, 15th, 3:45.28
Girls’ 50 Freestyle: Webster, 10th, 32.43; Cleya Thatcher, 20th, 40.46; Callaway, 21st, 43.02
Boys’ 500 Freestyle: Wolf, 7th, 27.74; Anjel Luevano, 19th, 34.85; Green, 22nd, 38.91
Girls’ 100 Butterfly: Fuller, 10th, 1:45.87; Grado, 12th, 1:48.01
Boys’ 100 Butterfly: Darnell, 1st, 58.04; Wolf, 5th, 1:13.60
Girls’ 100 Freestyle: Webster, 6th, 1:12.71; Shannon, 9th, 1:13.90
Boys’ 100 Freestyle: Thatcher, 14th, 1:17.29
Girls’ 400 Freestyle: Glascock, 9th, 6:16.68; Thatcher, 11th, 7:20.12
Boys’ 400 Freestyle: Ian Robson, 8th, 6:38.62; Luevano, 9th, 7:09.01
Girls’ 200 Freestyle Relay: Artesia “A” (Noble, Fuller, Shannon, Webster), 4th, 2:18.20; Artesia “B” (Robson, Grado, Callaway, Thatcher), 2:41.53
Boys’ 200 Freestyle Relay: Artesia “A” (Luevano, Green, Robson, Thatcher), 5th, 2:30.44
Girls’ 100 Backstroke: Noble, 11th, 1:26.09
Boys’ 100 Backstroke: Darnell, 2nd, 1:00.04
Girls’ 100 Breaststroke: Robson, 12th, 1:47.37; Langford, 14th, 1:51.77
Boys’ 100 Breaststroke: Robson, 10th, 1:44.70
Girls’ 400 Freestyle Relay: Artesia “A” (Langford, Grado, Glascock, Robson), 5th, 5:53.28
Boys’ 400 Freestyle Relay: Artesia “A” (Wolf, Thatcher, Anderson, Darnell), 3rd, 4:23.28