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At the district meet in Opelika (back row, left to right: Camden Mask, Caden Metz, Canyon Moyers, Geoffrey Dark. (Front row, left to right): Corbin Grover, Donavan Aldridge, Aiden Morgan. Photos courtesy of Tiger Sharks.

Swim team 4th at district, state next

By Michael Butler

The Tallassee Tiger Sharks placed fourth overall at the ARPA District 5 Meet in Opelika over the weekend. Of the 56 swimmers participating, 41 qualified for state. Seven were district champs.

The individual blue ribbon winners were: Abigail Zinn (Girls 8U Breaststroke), Crockett Moyers (Boys 9-10 Freestyle and Butterfly) and Camden Mask (Boys 13-14 Breaststroke and Butterfly). The boys 13-14 medley and freestyle medley team of Caden Metz, Camden Mask, Donavan Aldridge and Aiden Morgan also took first place.

"Donna Funderburk has some magic," coach Jamie Aldridge said of her coaching sidekick. "We're the only team in our district that doesn't swim year-round. The teams that beat us are a lot larger."

Year-round teams: Prattville, Auburn and Opelika, were the top finishers at district. You might say they draw from a bigger pool. Competing with the "big boys" requires a major commitment.

"They are at the pool from 7-11 most mornings and back from 5:30-7 in the evenings," board member Dora Bankester added.

The swim team's regimen was held up at the beginning of the season with issues at the city pool, but the group overcame the obstacles producing another championship contender.

"We were (delayed) three weeks," Aldridge said. "We started the year with 85 swimmers, ages 4-17. We do land drills to get them ready. They practice hard every day."

The ARPA State Meet will be held at the new Sand Mountain Park Indoor Aquatic Center in Albertville from July 22-24.

Tiger Sharks State Qualifiers

Breaststyle - Weston Lucas, Abigail Zinn, Harmony Moyers, Camden Mask
Freestyle - Zeke Rigsby, Ava Ingram, Crockett  Moyers, Canyon Moyers
Butterfly - Crockett Moyers, Elise Soehren, Emma Soehren, Camden Mask, Hope Moyers, Donavan Aldridge, Alta Bentley, Valerie Johnson, Ivy Davis, Canyon Moyers
Backstroke - Paige Hart, Elise Soehren, Canyon Moyers, Ivy Davis
Individual Medley -  Camden Mask, Hope Moyers, Ivy Davis, Cassie Grover
Long Freestyle - Crockett Moyers, Aiden Morgan, Ethan Soehren

8U Girls Freestyle - Abigail Zinn, Jordyn Boatwright, Ava Ingram, Paige Hart
9-10 Boys Medley and Freestyle - Jimmy Bafford, Oliver Callins, Crockett Moyers, Tyler Hart
9-10 Girls A Medley and Freestyle - Emma Soehren, Elise Soehren, Abigail Ingram, Blair Hatcher
9-10 Girls B Medley and Freestyle - Virginia Kate Scarborough, Audrey Weldon, Natalee Milton, McKenzie Little
11-12 Boys Medley and Freestyle - Aiden Nobles, Braeden Yankey, Chandler Metz, Aaden Davis
11-12 Girls Medley and Freestyle - Kayson Atkins, Amelia Ingram, Harmony Moyers, Anslee Weldon
13-14 Boys Medley and Freestyle - Caden Metz, Aiden Morgan, Donavan Aldridge, Camden Mask
13-14 Girls Medley and Freestyle - Alta Bentley, Valerie Johnson, Hope Moyers, Auburn Weldon
15-18 Boys Medley and Freestyle - Adam Aldridge, Corbin Grover, Geoffrey Dark, Canyon Moyers

Ladies at District (left to right): Hope Moyers, Harmony Moyers, Anslee Weldon, Auburn Weldon, Valerie Johnson, Alta Bentley.