FAIRHOPE, Alabama— Shark Dynasty? The Fairhope Area Swim Team (FAST) Sharks won the Gulf Coast Area Aquatic League City Meet championship Saturday at Fairhope Municipal Park for their fifth-straight Division I crown—a streak so long the …
FAIRHOPE, Alabama— Shark Dynasty? The Fairhope Area Swim Team (FAST) Sharks won the Gulf Coast Area Aquatic League City Meet championship Saturday at Fairhope Municipal Park for their fifth-straight Division I crown—a streak so long the Sharks’ head coach Brittany Hoover had to look it up to be sure.
Her team last slipped below first place in 2008 when they took the runner-up trophy in their division.
“I’m proud of all the swimmers for working so hard to get ready all season and it means a lot to defend the championship successfully again this year,” she said.
Daphne-based Southern Waters Aquatic Team’s Eastern Shore Piranhas (ESP) took second in the division and the Gulf Shores Swim Team Dolphins third.
In Division II, The Bay Minette Swim Team Tiger Sharks won the championship, The Orange Beach Marlins finished second and Brewton’s Tigersharks were third. Foley was fourth.
The Tigersharks also received the 2013 Meet Spirit Award and their coach Angel Boyd was named GCAAL Coach of the Year.
Seven league records were broken over the two-day event including one of the newest and one of the oldest marks in the books.
“We’re really excited too, because we had a lot of time drops,” Hoover said of personal as well as meet and league record-setting times. “Especially for the younger kids. It means a lot after so much hard work to beat your time and then we had several break records and that’s always exciting.”
2013 GCAAL Female Swimmer of the Year Lena Amare boiled the pool with a new record-setting time of 38.52 seconds to win the 6-under 50-Yard Freestyle which broke her own 40.97 league mark set in 2012. The young ESP swimmer won the 25-Yard Backstroke and Freestyle as well as the 50-Yard Free and the 100-Yard Individual Medley.
Other record breakers included two by Male Swimmer of the Year Rylan Jurgens who also swims for the Piranhas. He clocked a 24.73 and a 52.40 in the Boys 12-under 50 and 100 Yard Freestyle events. Jurgens’ 100-Yard time broke the 54.84 record set by Chris Walton which had stood for 28 years and his new 50-Yard mark shaved 0.31 seconds off the 2012 time of Harrison Constantini of FAST.
Now swimming in the 13-year-old Boys Class, Constantini set a new league best in the 50-Yard Butterfly Saturday with a time of 24.98 to eclipse the 2008 J.D. Powell record of 25.67.
The Sharks relay team of Kennedy Constantini, Claire Blythe, Ally Bailey and Sydney Jane Hendryx swam a 1:05.10 in the 10-under Girls 100-Yard Medley and broke the nine-year-old Bluewave record of 1 minute, 6.37 seconds by 60.27 seconds. The same group also won the 10-under 200-Yard Freestyle Relay to break a 2004 record by 3.28 seconds.
Hendryx also won the 10-year-old 100-Yard Individual Medley, the 50-Yard Freestyle and the 25-Yard Breaststroke while Bailey won the 9-year-old 100-Yard IM, the 50 and 100 Free as well as the 25-Yard Backstroke and Butterfly.
Brewton’s Nolan Atkinson won the 9-under 25-Yard Butterfly in 15.63 seconds and broke the 2007 record of Andrew Szyzel by 0.04 seconds. Atkinson also came within 0.43 seconds of tying the 1986 record of Matt Buzbee.