NEWBERRY — The Eels swim team from the Newberry YMCA has extended its Carolina YMCA Summer Swim League championship streak to 13 years, giving coach Khrista Webb an accomplishment she can take with her as she departs for Salem, Mo.
But for Webb and the rest of the Eels, a funny thing happened on the way to the awards ceremony: They were told they came in second to Greenwood’s first place showing when the championship meet was held July 16 and July 17 in Georgetown.
The Eels took 35 swimmers and competed against about nine other teams, earning 953 points. Webb, who is also the aquatics director at the Newberry YMCA, said the point total was about average for them over the last four to five years.
“Years before that, we had a lot more swimmers, so we had a lot more points because points come with swimmers. The top three teams we all had about the same amount of swimmers at the meet, so we knew we would come in first, second or third,” she said.
During the initial award ceremony, they were told they came in second.
“At the end of the meet they post the results on a wall so parents can see how the meet is going, and see where their kids are placing. It shows how many points each swimmer is earning as we compete so we can see how we’re doing,” said Webb. “At the end of the meet, we finished with some relays, and some relays were posted more than once. They were posted in the girls scores and the boys scores because the boys and girls swam together just to fill up all the lanes.”
Webb brought the discrepancy to the referees and the awards were postponed while it was sorted out. Afterwards the Newberry Eels were awarded second place and Greenwood was awarded first.
“But when the meet results came out and they sent them to the coaches about two weeks later, they sent an email saying there was a problem with the scoring and that Newberry won first place,” Webb said. “The league officials decided that it would be a first place tie between Greenwood and Newberry because Greenwood was awarded first place at the meet.”
Webb was still excited for the win, especially because it would be her last. She’s moving to Salem, Mo., so she won’t be coaching them any longer.
“On paper and the way the meet came out, we did win, so it is our 13th year in a row to be proud,” she said. “I was excited about the win with this being my last year doing summer swim. It just topped it off and made it better.”
Dana Barbour, mother of swimmer Katie Belle Barbour, said it was not surprise the team came in first, because the swimmers did so well.
“I feel like even though we were second initially, we still did really well, and we knew we did really well. So for them to come back and say the numbers were wrong, and we really were in first place, it was not really a surprise. We knew we did well,” she said.
Mae Sparrow, who has been on the team for 11 years, said she was disappointed at first that they came in second but was proud of Greenwood for placing first.
“When they announced the team scores and we came in second, honestly with the number of swimmers that we had and the pool closing and everything. It was not that surprising that we came in second. I was disappointed at first, but I was proud of Greenwood for their achievement,” she said. “When I got the email that we came in first, I was excited because this is Khrista’s last summer and I wanted her to leave with the streak continuing.”
“I was expecting us to get first, second or third, that would have made me happy because the amount of team members we have right now, a lot of people left last year that we had,” said Ethan Burge, who has been on the team for six years.
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @ TheNBOnews.