Knoxville Crush Sesh Way to go!


From June 15-17, nearly 40 athletes from Western North Carolina showed up in Knoxville ready to rock. Competing with teams from Louisiana, Indiana, Massachusetts and all over the states, athletes on both Smoky Mountain Aquatic Club and Asheville Swim Club kept their heads down, focused on what they could control and remained unintimidated. The group had many fantastic swims, tons of best times, time drops, event wins, top tens, and many finals swims.

It's safe to say, we all learned something, swam our guts out, and had a blast.

SMAC 200 Flyers!


Friday, the weekend started off with a bang. Rocking nearly 100% best times for the entire group in the first event, the 100 Freestyle, the teams from the 828 came ready to crush. The ball kept rolling all through the morning, with big drops coming in the 100 Backstroke, the 400 Freestyle, and 100 Butterfly. Sophia Woody went 3 for 3 on best times, as did Katie Bauer, Issac Fishman, Connor Smith, Ava Mack, Patrick Sleater, Emma Gwan-Nulla, and Tucker Valliere. Every athlete walked away Friday morning with a best time and contributed towards our team total of dropped seconds. It was official after the Friday session, the team was ready to rock.

Highlighted by Abby Smith's 12 and Under Champs cut by .06 in the 200 FR, the Friday crew of 12 and Unders followed suit. As Jaden Gibson had a fantastic 400 FR, Reagan Wilkinson killed that 50 BK and Carson Valliere had a big time :20 second drop in his 200 FR, the Friday afternoon session was full of fast swimming. Finals saw the ol'828 finish 1-2-3 in the 13-14 boys 200 IM with the likes of Patrick Sleater, Tucker Valliere and Connor Smith. YEEHAAW!

The ball kept rolling on Saturday. Erin Butler Jason Greene, and Luke Mina had some nice drops in the 100 Fly while the rest of the crew followed suit, highlighted by Ava Mack's nearly 10 second drop in the 200 FR. Sister Izzy Mack did the same thing later in the day with a superb 400 IM, cutting nearly 7 seconds and going 3 for 3 on best times in the Saturday Session. In the afternoon, athletes from Smoky Mountain Aquatic Club came ready to rock. Ava Bonomo's 100 BK was a nice cut, Naveah Hourani hit it big with another champs cut in the 50 FR, and with a beautiful start, kickout and some serious power, Max Serenius did classic Max Serenius stuff and had a great drop in his 50 Fly. Meredith Bradshaw and Harper Clark dominated their heats and kicked some butt in those 50 Breaststrokes, while Livi Warlick nearly beat her 50 Yard freestyle time in the 50 meter pool! TALK TO ME!

With the group cheering behind his lane, the finals session Saturday night that featured Patrick Sleater in a breathtaking neck and neck finish. The group woke up Sunday inspired and kept grinding. In what must have felt like her 100th race of the weekend, Abby Kriegler dropped about 5 seconds in her 100 Breaststroke. As the 50 Free's approached, it was Jacob Allen's turn and he delivered, not just breaking :30 for the first time, but SMASHING it.

The SMAC crew kept the ball rolling Sunday as Maddie Hendershot and Caroline Bonomo duked it out stellar drops in the 100 Freestyles while an inspired Naveah Hourani got yet another cut in her 100 Free. The day rounded off with Luke Gonzales, Zack Lyle and Reagan Wilkinson in an ultimate Butterfly showdown. Way to go on those 200s fellas!



Tons of time drops, too many to list!! Here's our Biggest Time Drops (One from each athlete)

  1. Issac Fishman: 200 IM -30.73 (-16.09%)
  2. Patrick Sleater: 400 IM -27.46 (-8.35%)
  3. Emma Gwan-Nulla 200 IM -23.11 (-10.26%)
  4. Luke Mina 100 Fly -21.71 (-22.51%)
  5. Carson Valliere 200 FR -20.04 (-9.24%)
  6. Jaden Gibson 400 FR -15.74 (-4.50%)
  7. Maddie Hendershot 200 IM -13.68 (-6.91%)
  8. Ava Bonomo 100 BK -13.16 (-12.94%)
  9. Abby Smith 200 FR -13.01 (-8.14%)


  • Abby Smith: 200 FR, 400 FR
  • Navaeh Hourani: 50 FR, 100 FR


Every athlete had many things they could take home and be proud of. No matter an athletes age, whether they dropped :30 seconds in a race or 0.01, added 10 or got a DQ, at the end of a meet, every group was presented with the challenge: "Whether you had the swim or your life or one you'd like to forget, let this meet change your approach, let it change the way you attack your goals, and let it change you." Maybe at practice we'll find a way to squeeze that streamline a little tighter or get that extra kick on each kickout 25. Perhaps on that main set there's more reason to step a little deeper in the pain cave, find that light switch way in the back, flick it on and let it rip. Maybe during a drill session, there's a little more reason to develop new skills. There's always something to improve, a place to grow, and a place to learn. The response we have to successes and failure, the way we move forward and the way we let them change us is totally under our control.

Every meet presents the opportunity to celebrate the work done in practice. Every meet gives us the chance to celebrate success. Celebrate we did! After a fantastic weekend, there's nothing better than a little frisbee or kickball - holy cow did those kids let loose. To all of our athletes - congratulations!


TOTAL TIME DROPPED FROM Western North Carolina: 681.82 Seconds

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