orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

November 16, 2012

VHS swimmers score big at LaPorte Invitational

Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader

LAPORTE, Texas — The Pirates swim team traveled to the Houston area for its final contest before Thanksgiving break and found success in the waters of LaPorte.

The Vidor Pirates swim team showed definite improvement in its third contest of the season as the team participated in the La Porte High School Invitational several 5A schools from the Houston area and Beaumont West Brook.

Hannah Odom earned a third place finish in the Girls 100 Yard Butterfly with a time of 1:08.44 to start off the day, while, in the boys race, Hunter Heidleberg placed fifth in 1:12.37. In the Girls 100 Yard Backstroke, Cullen Wilgers scored a ninth place finish with a time of 1:36.72. In the boys bracket, Vidor’s Spencer Schrek roared to a second place finish in 1:03.43 while teammate Mitch Blanchard finished 15th in 1:55.15.

Carly Bessire claimed fourth place in the Girls 100 Yard Breaststroke in her first individual race of the day, while teammate Gabriella Duke finished in 11th place in 1:58.94. In the boys division, Vidor’s Eddie Dyess finished in eighth place in 1:18.81 just ahead of teammate Damian Mann, who placed ninth in 1:18.91. Vidor swimmers Peter Thorne and Hunter Porter finished in 17th and 18th places, respectively.

Shae Phillips placed 22nd in the Girls 100 Yard Freestyle with a time of 1:43.75. In the boys bracket, Damien Kirkland claimed second place with a time of 54.09 seconds and just missed out on the victory by 0.40 seconds. He was followed by teammates Hunter Heidleberg, ninth place, 1:07.69; Blaine Shaw, 12th, 1:08.47; and Jaymes Withrow, 28th, 1:54.45.

The Pirates swim team did equally as well in the short sprint events.

In the Boys 50 Yard Freestyle, it was senior Damien Kirkland who again claimed second place with a time of 26.63 seconds. He placed well ahead of fellow swimmer Hunter Porter, who placed 16th in 58.74 seconds. Mitch Blanchard finished in 12th place in the Boys 50 Yard Backstroke with a time of 48.65 seconds.

Carly Bessire added another fourth place finish to her total for the day in the Girls 50 Yard Freestyle in 29.50 seconds. Teammate Cullen Wilgers finished 22nd in 35.25 seconds, and Gabriella Duke was 31st in 38.48 seconds.

In the boys division, Spencer Schrek placed fourth in 25.44 seconds, just ahead of Damian Mann who was finished in seventh place in 26.94 seconds. Eddie Dyess was 11th in 29.22 seconds and Blaine Shaw finished 15th in 29.87 seconds. Jaymes Withrow used a time of 51.90 seconds to finish in 35th place.

The relay teams met with mixed success on the day.

The Boys 400 Yard Relay team of Eddie Dyess, Spencer Schrek, Damian Mann and Damien Kirkland placed third with a time of 4:38.37, while the girls relay team of Hannah Odom, Cullen Wilgers, Gabriella Duke and Carly Bessire finished in eighth place with a time of 5:49.03 in their race.

The Boys 300 Yard Medley Relay team of Spencer Schrek, Damian Mann, Hunter Heidleberg and Damien Kirkland finished in second place with a time of 3:24.46, while the girls relay team, featuring Shae Phillips, Carly Bessire, Hannah Odom and Cullen Wilgers, placed fifth in 4:34.15.

The Pirates swim team will travel to New Caney for its next competition on Saturday, Dec. 1.