The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

February 16, 2013

Pacers break medley relay on way to 5th place finish at state

JENKS, Okla. — The Enid girls’ 200 medley relay record set Friday didn’t last too long.

The quartet of Sara Nazari, Hunter McEachern, Whitney Livesay and Ashley Valdez broke the mark for a second straight day with a 1:56.51 at the state swim championships Saturday.

That was good enough for third place in the race and helped propel Enid to a fifth-place team finish with 144 points.

The Pacers finished behind Edmond North (435), Jenks (331), Norman North (210) and Edmond Memorial (176).

“I thought that was a great finish for us,’’ said Enid coach Ginny Shipley. “I’m extremely proud of how our small team (eight) did. I thought we could get fifth.’’

The same quartet finished fifth in the 200-yard free relay in 1:45.86.

Nazari was second in the 200-yard individual medley with a 2:12.70 and was fourth in the 100 back (1:01.18).

McEachern was second in the 50 free (24.74) and was sixth in the 100 breast (1:01.77).

Nazari had hoped to break Amanda Autry’s school record in the 200 IM (2:09.10). McEachern had been shooting for Andrea Stevens’ school record in the 50 free (24.01).

Nazari and McEachern were state champions in those events two years ago as freshmen.

“Second is great,’’ Shipley said. “I know once you have been a state champion, you don’t want to be second in anything. I’m glad they have that attitude, but they should be pleased with how they did.’’

Livesay, swimming in her last varsity meet, was ninth in the 200 IM, winning the consolation finals in 2:21.03. She was 14th in the 100 butterfly (1:04.68).

Valdez, another senior, was 14th in the 200 IM (2:31.72) and 13th in the 100 breast (1:17.83).

“That was a good way for both of them to go out,’’ Shipley said. “They have been with me since I’ve been coaching swimming (four years). I don’t know what I’m going to do without them.’’

Alyssa Shearer, the other Pacer senior, teamed with Christie McMeans, Destiny Turner and Hannah Esquibel to finish 16th in the 400 free relay (4:34.97).

McMeans was 16th in the 50 free with a 27.63.

Gabe Sanchez placed in two individual events — 16th, 100 free, 51.6 and 15th, 100 back, 1:01.153.

He teamed with senior Jeremy Crise, Michael Johnson and Charley Laws to finish 14th in the 200 free relay in 1:40.16, the quartet’s best time of the season.

The quartet was disqualified in the medley relay.

“I thought the boys swam well,’’ Shipley said. “Two of them woke up sick. I know they were disappointed to be disqualified. They were enforcing all the rules at the meet. We had a little technical thing. We should have swam it correctly.’’

Shipley already was thinking about next year as the team departed Jenks.

“We need to recruit some kids,’’ Shipley said. “Our numbers are going to be down. If anybody wants to be a swimmer, they need to give me a call.’’

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