Photographs by Spencer Tirey
Hayden Harlow, boys swimmer of the year (from left); Kyle Nichols, diver of the year; and Ryan Husband, newcomer of the year, flex March 7 at the bottom of the Bentonville Community Center's pool.
Sunday, March 19, 2017
The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette selected its All-NWADG swim team. Sisters Taylor and Hayley Pike headline the girls selections, while a Bentonville High trio dominated the boys selections.
SWIMMER OF THE YEAR
SCHOOL Bentonville High CLASS Senior HEIGHT 6-1 THE SCOOP Harlow won the boys 200-yard individual medley title at the state 6A/7A meet with a time of 1 minute, 50.46 seconds, missing his state-record time he set in 2016 by just .02 seconds. … Won the boys 100 backstroke with a time of 55.84 seconds, beating his closest competitor by almost four seconds. … Teamed with Zane Sutton, Ryan Husband and Simon Mooney to win the 200 medley relay in a state-record time of 1:34.19, breaking the previous mark he helped set last year. … Teamed with Sutton, Husband and Ryan Dixon to win the 400 freestyle relay with a state-record time of 3:08.24, more than six seconds faster than the previous mark set by Bentonville in 2010. DID YOU KNOW Harlow will continue his swimming on the collegiate level after he signed a national letter of intent with Penn State in November. QUOTABLE “A big goal of mine was to bring the team together and have an amazing experience, not only in the water but socially with all my friends,” Harlow said. “I just wanted to take in my final year before heading off to college, and the biggest part of it was having those memories of success in the pool and with all your brothers and sisters on the team. “I was also able to reach one of my goals, which was to remain undefeated and win a state championship in all my races as well as smash the records in the relay races. The fun I’ve had in the pool can parallel the fun that I had with my friends, and that’s the best part of it all.”
DIVER OF THE YEAR
SCHOOL Bentonville High CLASS Senior HEIGHT 5-7 THE SCOOP Nichols earned the 6A/7A boys state diving title by accumulating 386.90 points, more than doubling his point total after a 10th-place finish in last year’s meet. … Credited much of his improvement with the addition of teammate Martin Keown, who pushed him during practice and gave Bentonville a one-two finish in the boys diving competition … Did receive a couple of offers to dive at smaller colleges, but he will go to Arkansas and work at club diving in hopes of getting a better offer. DID YOU KNOW Nichols previously competed in gymnastics as well as track, where he was a pole vaulter. He was then approached about becoming a diver by Bentonville coach Nick Nersesian after Nichols began dating Nersesian’s daughter. QUOTABLE “Last year was such a hard loss, but it motivated me to work harder this year,” Nichols said. “Being in the captain’s position, I knew I had a duty to do for our team, and I knew I had to give my all to the team. “I trusted in our new coach and did everything she said, and it all worked well. I worked as hard as I possibly could. Martin joined the team, and we fed off of each other — back and forth. It was a good relationship.”
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
SCHOOL Bentonville High CLASS Freshman HEIGHT 6-2 THE SCOOP Husband claimed the state record in the boys 100-yard freestyle with a time of 45.59 seconds, breaking the previous mark of 45.93 set by Ellis Miller of Siloam Springs in 2009. … Became the Class 6A/7A state champion in the boys 200 freestyle with a time of 1 minute, 39.97 seconds, missing the state record by less than 0.6 seconds and beating his closest competitor by almost 8 seconds. … Teamed with Zane Sutton, Hayden Harlow and Simon Mooney to break the state record in the 200 medley relay with their time of 1:34.19, beating the previous mark of 1:35.97 set by Bentonville last year. … Teamed with Sutton, Harlow and Hayden Dixon to set the state record in the 4oo freestyle relay with a time of 3:08.24, more than 6 seconds faster than the previous mark set by Bentonville in 2010. DID YOU KNOW Husband earned consideration for All-American honors by the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association for his performance in the state swim meet, both individually and on Bentonville’s relay teams. QUOTABLE “I was so excited to become a freshman and swim on this team because it’s had so much success in the past, and I’m glad to be a part of it,” Husband said. “This season, I was pumped to start. The state meet was a great atmosphere and made people want to do well. “I didn’t expect at all the times I had, and I was happy for them and able to win a state championship and send the seniors off on a good note.”
2016-17 All-State Swim/Dive Roster
Seth Bailey, Batesville Ty Boren, Valley View Tristen Bowen, Cabot Nathan Bright, LR Central Cade Byrd, Valley View David Cheng, Magnolia Sam Chesshir, LR Christian Val Chiu, LR Central Heston Coon, Mountain View Mathew Cunningham, Haas Hall Fayetteville Patrick Daniel, Magnolia Hayden Dixon, Bentonville High Brenden Daugherty, LR Christian Reed Graddy, Valley View Jaden Hartley, Bentonville High Aaron Hartsfield, Magnolia Spencer Hazen, Maumelle Blake Holland, Rogers Heritage Ryan Husband, Bentonville High Hayden Harlow, Bentonville High Bryson Horn, Haas Hall Fayetteville Vincent Jaworski, North Little Rock Jordan Jones, LR Christian Martin Keown, Bentonville High Alex Lacey, LR Christian Drew Lemna, Bentonville High Levi Lewis, LR Central Jack Little, Valley View Andersen Mainord, Conway Ethan Marotte, Conway William Matthews, Arkadelphia Simon Mooney, Bentonville High Kyle Nichols, Bentonville High Carter Pyle, Magnolia Charles Rieth, Conway David Reynolds, LR Central Patrik Rollefson, Pulaski Academy Ganesh Sajan, Haas Hall Fayetteville Taylor Savage, Arkadelphia Riley Scott, LR Christian Jonah Sorvillo, Bauxite Zane Sutton, Bentonville High Gavin Vann, Bentonville West Mason Vondenstein, Hot Springs Lakeside Alex Ware, Pulaski Academy Jackson Wiedower, Conway Ty Winfield, Conway Jonathan Yeow, Haas Hall Fayetteville
Ansley Anders, Shiloh Christian Heaven Boone, Pulaski Academy Gabrielle Collins, Bentonville High Isabella Cothern, Jonesboro Corinne DeSpain, Haas Hall Fayetteville Jade DeSpain, Haas Hall Fayetteville Ann Floyd, Bentonville High Elam Fulton, Conway Lauren Hacala, Bentonville High Ande Harris, Pulaski Academy Anna Kathleen Harris, Conway Loren Hedgecock, Bentonville High Katie Jacoby, Pulaski Academy Gabrielle Jenkins, LR Central Olivia Johnson, LR Central Olivia Keith, Fayetteville Madeline Marks, Bentonville High Savannah Martin, Alma Josephine Matalone, Haas Hall Kayla McGee, Lonoke Rachel McGuirt, Searcy Kexin Meng, Fayetteville Kyla Murders, Alma Hayley Pike, Haas Hall Bentonville Taylor Pike, Bentonville High Lainey Quandt, Bentonville High Rachel Reaves, Haas Hall Fayetteville Lindsey Rissinger, Fayetteville Allie Rogers, LR Central Bailey Roscoe, Sacred Heart Vanessa Salinas, Haas Hall Fayetteville Madalyn Satterfield, Alma Madison Shankle, Alma Arianna Shojaee, LR Central Caroline Stelte, Haas Hall Fayetteville Allison Taylor, Pulaski Academy Paige Taylor, Bentonville High Luciana Thomas, Haas Hall Martina Thomas, Haas Hall Fayetteville McKenzie Tucker, LR Central Rachel Zhang, LR Central
DIVER OF THE YEAR
SCHOOL Fayetteville CLASS Senior HEIGHT 5-2 THE SCOOP Became a three-time state girls diving champion when she won the event last month in Bentonville. … Finished this year’s meet with 381.85 points and defeated second-place finisher Anna Kathleen Harris of Conway by slightly more than 40 points, with her sister Hailey helping give the Lady Purple’Dogs a one-three finish. … She prepared for the upcoming season by working on three new dives and ended up using two of them in the state competition, admitting she kept the other one on standby if necessary. DID YOU KNOW Rissinger has elected not to pursue diving in college. She will attend Arkansas, where she plans on majoring in pre-nursing and become a nurse practitioner. QUOTABLE “It was a really good season. There was plenty of good competition with new girls, including my sister,” Rissinger said. “I knew I had to improve because it wasn’t going to be easy, and it was going to be hard to keep the title. What made it fun was the state meet was the biggest competition in quite some time. “I perfected two new dives, and I had another one as a wild card as I tried to improve. It worked pretty well.”
SWIMMER OF THE YEAR
SCHOOL Bentonville High CLASS Senior HEIGHT 5-0 THE SCOOP She became the 6A/7A state champion in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 54.11 seconds, just missing her state-record time of 53.96 seconds she set last year and winning by almost a full second. … Won the 500 freestyle with a time of 4 minutes, 49.28 seconds — a full second off the state record and almost 24 seconds faster than her closest competitor. … Teamed with Gabrielle Collins, Lainey Quandt and Loren Hedgecock to break the state record in the 400 freestyle relay with a time of 3:35.15, a second quicker than the previous state record she helped set two years ago. … Teamed with Paige Taylor, Madeline Marks and Hedgecock to win the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:49.22, just 0.3 seconds off the state record. … Remains the owner of the state record in the 200 freestyle that she set two years ago. DID YOU KNOW Pike competed in the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials last year and missed reaching the finals in the 200-meter butterfly by less than 0.7 seconds. She signed a national letter of intent with Texas A&M in November and will continue her quest for a spot on the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team there. QUOTABLE “I was really happy with how the season went for me and all of our team,” Pike said. “I was just hoping to win another state championship and wasn’t really looking to do anything super-amazing personally because I just wanted it for our team and give it one more state championship before I left. “I was happy to do that.”
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
SCHOOL Haas Hall Bentonvlle CLASS Freshman HEIGHT 5-7 THE SCOOP Pike, the younger sister of Bentonville swimming standout Taylor Pike, became Haas Hall Bentonville’s first and only representative to the Class 1A/5A state meet and represented the Lady Mastiffs well by earning all-state honors. … She won the girls 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4 minutes, 54 seconds, finishing more than 27 seconds than her closest competitor. … She also won the 100 freestyle with her time of 52.72 seconds, beating the second-place finisher by 1.7 seconds. DID YOU KNOW Pike’s time in the 500 freestyle during the state meet earned her All-American consideration by the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association. QUOTABLE “There wasn’t very many of us with this being our first year, but it was a very good experience,” Pike said. “We grew as a team and was very connected and fun to be with during meets. I was very excited for represent our school at the state meet in the 100 free and the 500 free, and I was excited to achieve All-American recognition and put our school on the map. “I was a little nervous at first, but I realized it was a great honor just to be there and to be able to race for my school.”
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