By STEVE CORNELIUS, CJ Sports Editor
Only ten years old, Sophia Garrison is already blazing new trails for local swimmers.
Representing the local Hurricanes USA swim team, Garrison captured the area’s first-ever swim state title. Garrison won the 9&10 year old 50-meter butterfly race in the Kentucky State Championship USA Swimming Long Course.
Garrison covered the 50-meter butterfly race in 33.61 seconds, and becomethe Hurricanes’ first-ever individual state champion.
“Sophia is our madame butterfly and in practice she would swim fly all day, every day with a smile on her face,” said Hurricanes coach Kim Garner.
Garrison came into the meet ranked second in the state. She competed in prelims in the morning and added .40 seconds. In the championship finals, she raced to the State Title dropping 1.56 seconds and posted a personal best time. Also, Garrison won the bronze medal in the 100-meter butterfly, cutting 4.92 seconds in the morning preliminaries and later that night another drop of 6.65 seconds.
“Sophia is a rare treat,” Hurricanes coach Barry Garner stated. “She showed up at state meet sick, would not admit it, and never quit smiling. Her last event of the meet got her the state championship title. She gives 100 percent in every practice, every day and her work ethic is off the charts.”
Garrison had an amazing short course state championship performance back in March, earning four medals but finishing second and missing out on the gold medal was not good enough for her. Her coaches knew that she was a strong long course swimmer and this could be her shining moment to get the gold medal in the 50 butterfly and the 100 butterfly.
Another 10-year-older, Evan Cherry had another historic day for the Hurricanes, by qualifying for 10 state championship events. Cherry competed in 14 races over the three-day meet and posted 100 percent lifetime best swims.
Cherry finished fourth in the state in the 100-meter backstroke, and scored in every event he competed in.
“Evan is a tough competitor,” Barry Garner said. “Evan was coming off illness and family vacation and I truly had no expectations. I should have known that when Evan steps on the block, he is always ready to race with all he’s got.”
At the Kentucky State Championship Short Course in March, Cherry became the first Hurricane to make it back to State Championship consolation heat.
The only thing on Evan Cherry’s mind was qualifying for championship heat at state finals so he could be on the medal stand. He accomplished that goal and ended up with two medals – fourth in the 100 long-course backstroke and eighth breaststroke.
The 2013-2014 Kentucky State Short-course yards and long-course meters team with qualifying times were Parker Skidmore, Wiley Cain, Elle Hayes, Jayna Singleton, Amy Cornelius, Callee Robertson, Trey Newell, Bailey Loveless, Sophia Garrison and Evan Cherry.