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El Dorado swim teams preparing for state competition

by Tony Burns | February 21, 2021 at 6:04 p.m.

Swimmers tend to lose their edge quickly if they can’t get into the water. So last week’s snow shutdown couldn’t have come at a worst time – a week before the 5A State Swimming & Diving Championships.

El Dorado qualified eight athletes for the meet, which will be held Saturday in Russellville. Coach Courtney Canady said her team didn’t get to practice due to the snow.

“I am concerned that the weather and not being able to practice may have an impact on their performance at state,” she said. “However, I realize that probably just about all, if not all, of the teams will be in the same boat that we are, so I’d still say it’s level playing field.”

Canady said Little Rock Christian and Russellville will be two of the teams to beat. Individually, El Dorado has several who could find their way to the podium.

Tori McDiarmid, Abigail Thompson, Adrianna Arnold and Jana Powell qualified in both the girls’ 200 free relay and the girls’ 400 free relay, which are both ranked in the top three.

McDiarmid will also compete in the 100 freestyle and 50 freestyle. Thompson will swim in the 100 breaststroke and 100 freestyle. Arnold will compete in the 500 freestyle and 200 freestyle and Powell will swim in the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle.

In boys, Payton Allman, Aleck Ramirez, Braden Major and Christian Rivas will compete in the 200 and 400 free relays. Allman will swim in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke. Major will swim in the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle.

“I’ve got eight that have made qualifying cuts by time or place for state before scratches,” said Canady. “Payton, Adrianna, Jana, and Tori all have top eight rankings at state, and I feel that Braden will as well after scratches. Payton and Adrianna are ranked the highest in their events and are closest to medaling.”

The Lady Wildcats are coming off a second place showing in the 5A South meet. Canady said the goal for state is, “to just go out there and try our best.

“We’ll start back up with practice next week. The work has already been put in, so we’ll see where it takes us for state.”

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