Conway High girls win Hendrix Invitational

by Mark Oliver

Conway High School represented the 501 as one of 22 schools that competed in the Hendrix Invitational swim meet Saturday in Conway.

Thirty-nine Conway swimmers participated in a variety of events — 22 in all — in both boys’ and girls’ competitions. Conway’s girls’ team won the Hendrix Invitational with 452 points — the team’s sixth win in seven meets — while the boys’ team placed fourth. 
Freshman Casey Ragsdale placed first in the women’s 200-meter freestyle with junior Annie Courtway placing third. Junior Jocelyn Woo placed second in the women’s 50-meter freestyle and second in the women’s 500-meter freestyle. Junior Corissa Calico placed first in the women’s 100-meter fly and second in the women’s 100-meter backstroke. Senior Danielle Burnside placed second in the women’s 100-meter freestyle. Woo, Ragsdale and freshmen Sierra Kinworthy and Laura Bloomfield placed first in the women’s 400-meter freestyle relay. Woo, Courtway, Calico and Ragsdale placed second in the women’s 200-meter medley relay. Burnside, Courtway, Calico and freshman Amanda Crinc placed second in the women’s 200-meter freestyle relay.

For the boys’ team, junior Tyler Crosson placed first in both the men’s 50-meter freestyle and men’s 500-meter freestyle. Sophomore William Bryden placed second in the men’s 100-meter fly. Crosson, Bryden, senior Landen Ward and sophomore Isaac Powers placed first in the men’s 200-meter medley relay.

Corissa Calico. (Tammy Calico photo)

During the meet, many Conway swimmers qualified for the state meet in their individual events: Courtway, Bloomfield and Ward in the 200 freestyle, Crinc in the 50 freestyle, Burnside and Kinworthy in the 100 freestyle and Woo in the 500 freestyle. Currently, 12 Conway girls and six Conway boys have qualified for state events.  
Conway didn’t fare as well in the diving competition, however.

“All of my divers have had better meets, but I’m still very proud of the kids,” Conway swimming and diving coach Christie Rye said. “The girls were great assets to our girls’ total team points. Without their 39 accumulative points, it would have been a much closer meet with Bentonville.

“If we could have more pool time and a more reasonable time for the kids to practice, we could get better."

Isaac Powers.

The diving teams currently pay $50 an hour to use Hendrix’s facilities two nights a week in order to practice with a meter board. 
The swim teams practice at UCA during seventh period and after school. “[UCA] has been super with us,” Rye said. “We’re also thankful to have the help of Greg Freeman [for our divers] and AquaKids coach Corey Coon-Cassiy. If the team works hard when they are at practice and focuses on their races, they will better themselves for the state meet.”

Conway has two more opportunities to qualify times for the state meet: at the Little Rock Catholic meet on Feb. 4 and the Central Regional meet at Hendrix on Feb. 17-18, with the state meet the following weekend in Little Rock. 

Landen Ward.

Casey Ragesdale.