A weekend full of stories, memories, and fast swimming!

NCS Senior Champs this past weekend was one for the record books. A meet to build around, this was the first time since 2011 that Smoky Mountain Aquatic Club's Men and Women scored points at NC Senior Champs. It was a combined team effort, a feat that took huge drops and serious breakthroughs. In short, SMAC athletes dominated their heats, stepped up to competition, and raced their guts out when it mattered most.

Session 1 on Friday 2/17, SMAC saw one of the most inspiring displays of guts in team history. Johnny Darguzas pulled off an incredible feat, one that inspired the team for the rest of the weekend. Looking at the heat sheet, we noticed Johnny was heat 13 of 18 in the 100 Fly and heat 1 in the following event, the 400 IM. This meant that after his fly, he was going to have less than 7 minutes rest before his 400 IM. Below is Johnny's 100 Fly.

Sometimes the cards aren't stacked in your favor, but that's why we practice.

Lane 4 in the video above, Johnny crushed his 100 Fly, hitting a 52.5, earning him a second place spot in the SMAC Record books and an 12th place seed for the night swim. 7 minutes go by fast. Johnny warmed down quickly, and walked back over to the blocks for his 400 IM. He quickly got out in front and finished with a 4:11, earned himself a night swim, and finished just a handful of seconds away from a Futures Championship cut in both races. After that, it was safe to say, the team was inspired. Glenna Whaley got angry and rebounded from her 100 Fly DQ to dominate her 400 IM with a 10 second drop. Mason MacDonald crushed his 100 Fly as well, dropping over 2 seconds.

Eric and Mason

Team Huddle

Getting pumped

Saturday AM was electric. The morning was highlighted by a swim long overdue. Glenna Whaley hadn't seen a 100 BK best time in quite a while. It had been her unicorn, the race she feared and loved, the race that always seemed to get away. Not on this day. In an all out, guts out, inspiring race, Glenna dominated her heat, winning by over 2 seconds and dropping over 2 - she did it. She cracked a minute for the first time and hit a 59.16. Goosebumps were seen from miles away. Mason MacDonald followed suit and earned himself a night swim in the 50 FR. Eric Gomez dropped 3 more seconds in his 500 and hit a 57.10 best time in his 100 BK. Stephen Wenzel got himself a best time in his 50 FR and Johnny Darguzas destroyed his 500 FR, dropping 12 seconds and squeaked his way into the finals session for a night swim.

Saturday night was the first night that SMAC had 3 separate athletes competing in Finals at NC Senior Champs since 2010.

Testing out the Champs Caps for next year

200 BK Sunday Night!

Eric Gomez in the same heat as 2012 Silver Medalist Ryosuke Irie. Not everyone can say they swam in the same heat as an Olympic Medalist.

SMAC Legend Cora Dodson made the trip to come out and cheer for her former teammates!

Thanks Cora!

Sunday, the team completed 3 days of great races. Kicked off by Stephen Wenzel's 100 FR best time of 50.7, the team had plenty to be pumped about. Johnny's 200 BK was second all time at 1:55.7. Eric's 2:04 200 BK was a new champs cut. Glenna's 4 second drop in her 200 BK pushed her closer and closer to a Futures time standard. Riley Laursen made the trip and helped us earn a new all time TEAM RECORD in the 400 Medley Relay.


SMAC's Relay

Riley and Stephen

Tarheel States is at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. The facility is gorgeous!

Bottom Line - The Senior Championship Team represented.

  • TOTAL TIME DROPPED: 68.15 Seconds from 5 athletes
  • Total Number of Best times: 20
  • Total Time Dropped this Season: 4,166.73
  • Total Number of Best Times this Season: 1,157


  • Johnny Darguzas: 500 FR -11.79 (-3.96%), 200 BK -4.38 (-3.65%)
  • Eric Gomez: 500 FR -12.82 (-3.96%)
  • Mason MacDonald 100 Fly -1.12 (-1.90%) - first time under :58!
  • Stephen Wenzel 100 FR -1.02 (-1.97%)
  • Glenna Whaley 400 IM -9.16 (-3.13%), 100 BK -1.63 (-2.68%) -first time under 1:00!!

The 5 athletes that made the trip reached personal milestones, raced their guts out and had a blast. The weekend was full of stories, memories and fast swimming. As a team, it was truly something to build around. All Little and Big SMACers should be inspired. Who can make it next year?



Glenna Whaley

We're excited to announce that Glenna Whaley has accepted a roster spot on the UNCA Women's Swim Team! She's going to college! She's going to swim! All SMAC athletes, families, and coaches are thrilled for her.

Created By
Charlie McCanless


Photo and Video Credits: Georgianna Wenzel, Karen Darguzas, Glenna Whaley, Ian MacDonald

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