Sunday, June 21, 2009

SMAC continues to roll in Commonwealth Games

WAYNESBORO — As the weather warms up, so does Alex Rayle.

The 13-year-old Shenandoah Marlins Aquatic Club swimmer has set personal bests in all six events he's competed in through the first two days of the Coventry Commonwealth Games of Virginia.

The Crozet teenager credits the recent warm spell for his amazing performances.

"I've been feeling a lot better," Rayle said. "It was really cold a couple of weeks ago."

Rayle didn't come away with any first-place finishes, but he dropped nine seconds in his 200 freestyle time en route to a third-place finish. He also took third in the 400 individual medley and fourth in the 200 individual medley.

On occasion, Rayle said he has the habit of overthinking his performances. For the first two days, he's just done what he does best. Swimming.

"Sometimes when I overthink, I don't do as well," Rayle said. "Today, I wasn't thinking that much. I was really relaxed."

After 12 first-place finishes on Friday, SMAC added five more on Saturday. Remedy Rule had first-place finishes in the 50 fly, 100 free and 200 fly in the 11-12 girls' division.

Teammate Jessie Arnold finished second to Rule in all three events. In the 13-14 girls' division, Anna Corley took first place in 200 individual medley. She also finished second in the 50 fly and 200 free.

Michael Mowen took first place in the 15-and-over boys' division 400 individual medley. He also placed second in the 200 individual medley.

Carlee Abshire had another superb swimming performance for the ACAST Amberjax. In the 8-and-under girls' division, she took second in the 100 free, fifth in the 50 back and eighth in the 50 fly. Justin Merritt also took 11th in the 50 fly for the Amberjax in the boys' 11-12 division.

Max Tempkin also had a great performance for SMAC. He finished third in the boys' 11-12 division 50 fly, as well as second in the 50 back and 100 free.

Peter Bihl took second in the boys' 15-and-over 50 breast and 200 individual medley for SMAC. Teammate Katie Keefer also took fourth place in the 15-and-over girls' 200 individual medley for the Marlins.

The Coventry Commonwealth Games of Virginia conclude at the War Memorial Pool in Waynesboro today. Swimming begins at 8 a.m.

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