Two members of the Anderson County High School swim team have qualified for the state swim meet in early February.
In fact, Ila and Avery Coker qualified for the state in December — swimmers may qualify from September through December for state.
TSSAA has set qualifying times for swimming events, and when a competitor achieves one of those times, they have earned the right to compete in state.
Because those qualifying times? Not exactly easy to get.
“They’re tough,” ACHS swim coach Stephanie Coker said. “The good thing about being able to get a qualifying time early in the season is you can work on your time for the state meet.”
And if you’re Ila or Avery Coker you can work on perfecting the technique for the event you’re participating in at state.
For the Cokers, it’s not unusual to swim and excel in two, three, even four events during the regular season.
But at state, your only allowed to participate in two events.
Ila will focus on the 200 medley and the 100 fly.
Avery will compete in the 100 fly and 100 freestyle.
Ila noted that sometimes when you excel at three or four events it takes a little time to readjust your focus on just two events.
Stephanie Coker has been coaching with Ila since her freshman year so she’s had three years to work with her. This is Avery’s freshman year.
Stephanie said both are natural swimmers.
“Ila’s been swimming since she was … Gosh, I don’t know … A long time,” she said.
“She loves to swim. It’s her natural environment. And she loves the team. They’re her family, too.”
Avery is a natural as well, but as he’s gotten older he’s really grown into. “a swimmer’s build,” Stephanie Coker said.
The freshman is a very lean 6-feet, 4-inches. He is climbing the state’s rankings very quickly, already reaching number 24 in the state.
He also has a very good shot at making the winter Junior Nationals next December.
The state meet is Feb. 11-12. Swimmers will have Feb. 10 to test out the pool in Nashville where the event will be held.
“That’s critical,” Stephanie Coker said. “Pools are different. Some are cooler water pools, some are salt water pools.
“It makes a difference.”
Stephanie Coker said the University of Tennessee Aquatic Center is a cool water pool and is considered a “fast” pool.
Anderson County High School and Clinton High School swimmers competed there last weekend in the Knoxville City Championships.
Here are how swimmers from the county schools fared:
Boys 14 and Under 200 Yard Freestyle Relay
Clinton — Max Bostrom, Cooper Bostrom, Henry Webster, and Luke Hatmaker, 12th place with a time of 2:14.23
Boys 14 and Under 50 Yard Breaststroke
Clinton — Cooper Bostrom, 24th with a time of 45.06; Wesley Hill, 34th with a time of 48.44
Boys 14 and Under 100 Yard Freestyle
Clinton — Max Bostrom, 17th with a time of 1:10.57; Luke Hatmaker, 29th with a time of 1:18.03; Cooper Bostrom, 31st with a time of 1:19.42
Boys 14 and Under 50 Yard Backstroke
Max Bostrom, 11th, with a time of 34.93
Boys 14 and Under 50 Yard Freestyle
Clinton — Luke Hatmaker, 30th with a time of 31.53; Wesley Hill, 50th with a time of 35.65; Richard Jackson, 67th (tie) with a time of 39.22
Boys 14 and Under 200 Yard Medley Relay
Clinton — Max Bostrom, Cooper Bostrom, Henry Webster, and Luke Hatmaker, 7th place with a time of 2:25.49
Men 100 Yard Breaststroke
Anderson County — Conner Scruggs, 40th with a time of 1:21.57
Men 100 Yard Backstroke
Anderson County — Corey Fine, 38th with a time of 1:13.26
Women 100 Yard Backstroke
Clinton — Amber Shelton, 51st with a time of 1:30.62
Men 200 Yard Freestyle Relay
Anderson County — Corey Fine, Daniel Scruggs, Conner Scruggs, Avery Coker, 16th with a time of 1:54
Women 200 Yard Freestyle Relay (preliminaries)
Clinton — Amber Shleton, Alyssa McFarlin, Elizabeth Carter, Sarah Beth Pietrzak, 19th with a time of 2:13.99
Men 500 Yard Freestyle
Clinton — Issac Childers, 16th with a time of 6:17.59
Men 100 Yard Freestyle (preliminaries)
Anderson County — 83rd with a time of 1:22.74
Women 100 Yard Freestyle (preliminaries)
Clinton — Tara Pickel with a time of 1:26.71; Anderson County — Naomi Lemanski, 116th with a time of 1:31.47; Clinton — Amber Shelton, 104th with a time of 1:23.26; Alyssa McFarlin, 63rd with a time of 1:14.08; Sarah Beth Pietrzak, 57th with a time of 1:11.47
Men 100 Yard Butterfly
Anderson County — Avery Coker, 7th with a time of 56.95
Women 100 Yard Butterfly (preliminaries)
Anderson County — Ila Coker, 17th with a time of 1:09.80; Clinton — Elizabeth Carter, 27th with a time of 1:26.81
Men 50 Yard Freestyle (preliminaries)
Anderson County — Avery Coker, 20th with a time of 24.48; Clinton — Issac Childers, 30th with a time of 25.35; Anderson County — Conner Scruggs. 78th with a time of 29.36; Corey Fines, 80th with a time of 29.50
Women 50 Yard Freestyle
Anderson County — Ila Coker, 30th with a time of 28.64; Clinton — Sarah Beth Pietrzak, 54th with a time of 30.85; Alyss McFarlin, 65th with a time of 31.93; Anderson County — Naomi Lemanski, 117th with a time of 36.57
Men 200 Yard Medley Relay (preliminaries)
Anderson County — Corey Fine, Conner Scruggs, Avery Coker, Daniel Scruggs (DQ)
Women 200 Yard Medley Relay (preliminaries)
Clinton — Amber Shleton, Alyssa McFarlin, Elizabeth Carter, Sarah Beth Pietrzak, 20th with a time of 2:27.09