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The Clover High School swim team's record-breaking performance at the state meet in Columbia will long be remembered by gritty team members and head coach Joan Epping.
“This was a stellar season for us,” said Epping. “We have never performed this well in the 11 years Clover High School has had a swim team.”
The combined CHS boys and girls team competed in 15 swims.
“Out of those 15 swims, we had 14 best times,” noted Epping. ““That is a .933 improvement rate, the best of any school in the meet that swam more than one event.
“This in itself tells you how well our kids competed.”
The CHS boys finished fifth of the 28 participating teams in the state championship event.
While the boys besting Fort Mill was a team highlight, Garrett Hills earned state championship honors in the 50 free and 100 free.
The dynamic CHS swimmer set a new state record in the 100 free with a time of 45:88. The previous record was 46:19.
Morgan Rulevich made her presence felt in a huge way in the girls state meet, winning the 100 breast with a 1:06.79 clocking and she podiumed in the 50 free for second place.
The Clover 400 free relay brought home yet another state title for the CHS swim team with a 3:13.03, bettering their seed time of 3:19.36.
Boys who comprise the championship relay include Charles Graham, John Slavens, Braxton Shuler and Hills.
The boys 200 medley relay podium placed third with a 1:38.80 time.
Boys who swam on this relay were Kenny Jeffery, John Slavens, Garret Hills and Braxton Shuler.
Slavens' podium in the 100 breast placed third at 59.01. He also placed fifth in the 200 individual medley.
Shuler placed seventh in the 50 free with a 22.35 clocking and sixth in the 100 free at 49.11.
Graham had a 15th place finish in the 100 free with a 50.43 time and placed ninth in the 100 breast with a 1:02.88.
The CHS girls swim team finished 11th out of 30 participating teams in the state meet.
Anna Pettus finished 11th in the 100 fly with a `1:01.98 clocking and fourth in the breast at 1:08.73.
The Clover girls 200 free relay finished fourth in the state, with swimmers Abby Hines, Anna Pettus, Kelcey Hines and Morgan Rulevich providing the margin of victory.
Epping, who has built the CHS swim program to elite status during her tenure with the program, lauded all of the swimmers for competing at a high level.
“I am proud of all of the swimmers for contributing to the success of the program,” she said.