How do you go from 12th at State to finishing 8th place at State with four minutes left in the game? You throw a “Hail Mary”, or in this case, you swim a “Hail Mary” with the four fastest swimmers in Smithville history, Kolby Ruff, Raymond Fugett, Brady Bell, and Nathan Noll. These exceptional athletes, after two days of grueling races, swam their fastest 400 Free relay ever in a new school record of 3:16.38, shaving off nearly a second from the day prior, and moving up into 6th place in the last event of the day. Scoring a huge 26 points, it was just enough to catapult the small, yet mighty team of Smithville swimmers to an 8th place team finish overall. This out of some 40 teams, beating larger teams like Kearney and Platte County. Much credit is due to sophomore Ray Fugett who shaved over a second and posted a 48.72 second 100 Freestyle split. Raymond also helped the team secure a fourth place finish in the medley relay with 21.86 freestyle split.
Nathan Noll was the high scorer for the team, and one of the highest scorers of the meet, with an astounding 33 points. He finished third in the 200 Free with a new school record time of 2:42.50, and second in the 100 Butterfly with a new school record time of 50.58. Nathan always comes through on relays, and today was no exception, with him posting a 22.32 for the 50 fly in the medley relay, and a 46.46 in the 100 Free relay.
Brady Bell was the next highest scorer for the team. From the onset of the year, it was his goal to make it into the top eight at state in his specialty, the Breastroke. By swimming a personal best time of 1:01.14 during prelims, Brady beat out his competitors and secured an eighth place finish. Bell proudly returns to Smithville with three huge state championship medals, and a new school record.
Kolby Ruff, one of the most promising freshmen in the state, finished 15th in the 100 Backstroke with a personal best time in the prelims of 56.69, and posted a personal best time in the 100 Freestyle with a 49.76. This, despite battling a shoulder condition. Kolby proved invaluable as the backstroker on the medley relay with a 26.16 split, and as the lead swimmer on the 400 Free relay.
Overall, the team brings home 11 medals, a remarkable achievement for such a small team. A memorable and fun season was had by all!