HOKI MEET WRAP UP Serious fun, serious SPEED

In one of the most memorable meet weekends in SMAC history, 18 SMAC athletes braved the snow and biting cold and made the journey up 81 North to Christiansburg, VA to compete in the Hoki Winter Championships. With over 1300 (yes, you read that right) athletes in the meet, the deck was crowded. With team cheers, coaches everywhere, and so much action in the water, it was loud. The action was real. The fun was through the roof and the speed was serious.

Before we get to the good stuff about the meet, here's a special note about family and team travel: Many SMAC athletes were traveling great distances to swim for the first time, with little brothers and sisters in tow. With early wake up times, late arrival times back home, not only did SMAC families handle the travel and all the complications that can come with it - you guys CRUSHED IT. You braved the snow. You toughed out the cold. You made sure everyone was fed, safe and happy. You guys are truly amazing. The support you gave to your athlete was inspirational to the team and SMAC's coaches. The kids walked away from the meet with smiles on their faces, tired bodies, and full hearts. You are a huge reason your athlete swam so fast! WAY TO GO!

The SMAC Van!


Throughout the weekend, we had tons of time drops, many best times and lots of finals swims. Of the 18 SMACers at the meet, 44.7% of our team earned at least one swim in finals. Averaging 15.71 seconds dropped per athlete, some swimmers had some AMAZING drops and others dropped enough to earn their first ever USA Swimming Motivational time or new time standards. The work we do at practice paid off in a big way. Check out the individual stats and new time standards the team earned this weekend:


  • Ava Grace Bonomo: 100 Fly -5.34 (-8.24%) NEW CHAMPS CUT!
  • Caroline Bonomo: 100 BR -4.22 (-4.52%), 50 BR New BB TIME! First ever!
  • Ryan Clausen 100 IM -2.34 (-2.61) - BIG TIME DROP!
  • Johnny Darguzas 200 IM -2.62 (-2.15%), 3rd Place SMAC All Time
  • Jaden Gibson 200 FR -3.12 (-2.04%) New A TIME!
  • Luke Gonzales 200 FR -5.37 (-3.72%) 7th Place SMAC All Time
  • Emma Gwan Nulla -200 FR -22.98 (-12.48%) HUGE DROP!
  • Maddie Hendershot 50 Fly -2.74 (-7.10%) New B TIME!
  • Mackenzie Hicks 200 FR -6.44 (-4.21%), 50 FR NEW BB TIME!
  • Parker Hicks 50 BK -2.59 (-6.37%) New B TIME!
  • Dylan Lunsik 200 FR -4.48 (-3.12%) New Time!
  • Zack Lyle 100 BK -2.13 (-2.90%) New BB TIME! 9th Place SMAC All Time!
  • Mason MacDonald 100 BR -1.43 (-2.21%) 4th Place SMAC All Time
  • Carson Valliere 200 FR -24.43 (-8.17%) Biggest drop of the meet!
  • Tucker Valliere 200 BR -6.21 (-4.03%) New Sectionals Cut! 4th Place SMAC ALL TIME
  • Erin Weaver 50 FR -4.32 (-11.99%) FIRST EVER B TIME!!!!
  • Trinity Wenzel 200 BK -2.22 (-1.58%) 7th Place SMAC ALL TIME
  • Reagan WIlkinson 50 BK -.49 (-1.28%) Just enough for Reagan's FIRST EVER B TIME!

Every athlete walked away having learned a little something about themselves. There were some SMACers that learned the importance of resilience. Others learned to stop worrying about what they can't control. Some learned that there's no moment too big. Other SMAC athletes got their pink and black cap out in front for the first time. For some, it was an honest look at strengths and weaknesses, in and out of the water. Although these sorts of lessons and experiences are intangible and tough to quantify, they're fundamental to self confidence and future successes in and out of the pool. Both coaches are thoroughly proud of the team and each athlete. We're looking forward using the meet as something to build around. We're excited to keep getting better!

There simply aren't any other athletes in Haywood County that can do what we do.

Sunday Night Swim Off!

In prelims/finals meets, where only 10 swimmers are allowed back in finals, there are rare instances where two athletes tie for 10th place exactly, down to the one hundredth of a second. In these instances, the two athletes that tied swim off in a mono a mono duel in the pool. The winner of the race gets a lane in finals.

This past Sunday, Zack Lyle tied for 10th place with a swimmer from Kingsport in the 11 year old 50 yard Butterfly; both athletes swimming the event in 32.81 seconds. With all eyes around the deck and in the stands on the pool, Zack rose to the occasion with an adrenaline fueled 2.5 second drop, new sectional cut, guts and glory filled 50 fly. 30.44! Who goes from a 32.81 to a 30.44?!!! Zack race set the tone for finals Sunday night. From there on out, everyone was officially FIRED UP.


SMAC athlete Reagan Wilkinson LOVES the 100 Fly. It's his JAM! Totally his most favorite race of all time. Before the race on Friday, Reagan had visualized his swim, talked to his coaches about the game plan and was going to give it everything he had. Standing behind the blocks before his heat, he heard the triple whistle, adjusted his goggles, and shoved everyone ahead of him out of the way. Reagan jumped up on the blocks. "Take your mark, BEEP!" Reagan dove in! Suddenly, as if by teleportation, he found himself in a place he didn't expect. Reagan was at the bottom of the 10 ft deep pool. With the rest of the heat swimming away, Reagan surfaced and his goggles sprang a leak. Then on his fourth breath, disaster. Reagan took in a 1.2 gallon sip of water. Struggling to finish, he toughed it out, and finished the race. With ESPN cameras in the building, Reagan didn't get a best time, and didn't have the best time. His favorite event did NOT go as planned.

Many athletes would have packed it up, thrown in the towel and headed home. It was the first SNOW DAY of the school year for goodness sake! Not every athlete is Reagan Wilkinson. The next day, he made sure to ask his coaches for help with his starts in warm up. He made sure to tighten his goggles. He started the session right with a fantastic 50 BK, finishing with a brand spanking new B time. Who would have thought his first ever B time would have come in something other than the 100 Fly? From then on out, Reagan was on fire and his starts were amazing. RESILIENCY is key to success in any endeavor - we're proud of you Reagan!

Greatest cheering section of all time!

Look at that spread!

Best officials in the world!


  • Tucker Valliere - New Sectional Cuts: 100, 200 BR, 100 BK
  • Zack Lyle - New Champs Cut and Sectional Cut: 50 Fly
  • Ava Grace Bonomo: New Champs Cut 100 Fly


It takes a team to pull off a great meet like last weekend We couldn't have done it without you!

  • Frank Bonomo - Wet Socks Award - thank you for timing!
  • Judy and Morris Gibson - Official Officials award - greatest officials at the meet!
  • Karen Darguzas and Jay MacDonald - Dinner Planning Committee Assemble! Thank you for organizing and planning dinners!
  • Shane Valliere - Best Driving Skillz - Thank you for driving the van!
  • Amy Valliere - Logistics Master - Thank you for organizing our space to eat and hang out at the hotel and reserving the van!
  • Stephanie and Phyllis Lunsik - Crew Chief Award - Thank you for chaperoning on the bus!


Total Time Dropped: 282.80 Seconds

Total Time Dropped this Season: 3,250.24 Seconds

Way ahead of last year's pace!


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