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CCHS swim team closes successful regular season

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The Cocke County High School swim team celebrates their win over Alcoa and Blount County in the swimming pool. CCHS won the meet 160-148-66 over the two teams.
Published: 2:00 PM, 01/23/2012 Last updated: 2:10 PM, 01/23/2012
 

Author: Seth Butler
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

NEWPORT-A successful regular season came to an end on Thursday night for the Cocke County High School swim team.

The swim team finished its best season ever with a win over Alcoa and Blount County at the Newport Community Center aquatic facility. CCHS took a 160-148-66 win over the two schools.
Thursday's victory saw the team finish the season with a 13-1-1 record.

"This was our most successful season ever," CCHS assistant coach Lisa Stepp said. "We've done a lot of difficult things, like college warm-ups and practices and a lot of times it was difficult, but they did it and that's what made the difference."

Stepp also said the team had an added incentive with head coach Debbie Lloyd facing her battle with breast cancer throughout the entire season.

"Debbie's been faced with this tragedy and the team really pulled together and they've been supportive for her," Stepp said. "I think this gave us another drive and incentive to have a successful season."

CCHS was able to drive to the win on Thursday with a total team effort. Just as in their win over Jefferson County High School two weeks ago, a collaboration of finishes, not just first place winners, allowed the AquaCocks to take the win.

Despite finishing with only six first place winners, compared to 10 for Blount County, Cocke County was able to win the meet. CCHS had 12 second place finishers, compared to eight for Blount County, and 10 third place finishers, compared to five for Blount County.

"Everybody counted tonight," Stepp said. "It was important that everybody stepped up their game and counted.

"We couldn't afford anyone on the team to mail it in," Stepp said. "We needed everybody to win."
Lloyd said that the team didn't obtain as many first place finishes as normal, because the other two schools had their better swimmers swimming against them.

"Our better swimmers were beat, because thats where their better swimmers swam," Lloyd said. "That's not the way it always wrks out, so we had to count on the second, third and fourth place finishes tonight."

Obtaining individual first place finishes for CCHS were Ethan Bailey in the 200-meter freestyle, Garon Bateman in the 200-meter individual medley and Bethany McNabb in the 100-meter breaststroke.
CCHS had three relay teams also earn first place honors. The boys relay team ofJacob Holt, Jordan Lloyd, Bateman and Bailey brought home the 200-meter medley relay and the 200-meter freestyle relay. The girls relay team of Jennifer Ball, Cherokee Stepp, Caitlin Robertson and McNabb brought home first place honors in the 200-meter freestyle relay.

Cocke County now advances to the City Championship Meet on Saturday, held at the University of Tennessee aquatic center.

Two two swim coaches said they were looking for a competitive effort out of their swimmers at the meet.

"We're looking to have a few top finishes and make it back to the finals in some events," Lloyd said. "Sometimes thats rare because down there we are in the same game with schools like Webb and Farragut."

"When we go to City on Saturday, we're not going to be seen; they're going to know we're there this year," Stepp said. "We're going there to score and place."

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