E.A. Sports Today

Oxford wins county swim crown

UPDATED: Yellow Jackets dominate; Hilbun (L) boys top scorer, Balma (C), Hill share girls title

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Trace Hilbun didn’t have to look far to find his motivation for Monday night’s Calhoun County Swimming Championship.

It was written for him on the whiteboard at the YMCA pool deck and the Oxford senior saw it every time he walked to the starting block.

“I will beat Trace,” it said, with two exclamation points and a smiley face for emphasis.

The message was presumed to have been left by Colton Smith, Hilbun’s Oxford teammate and chief rival. Smith wasn’t admitting anything – “Maybe,” he said coyly when questioned about it – but Hilbun seemed to know.

And he used it for the motivation it was, edging his junior teammate in two races – including a side-by-side matchup in the 50-yard butterfly – and winning two other events to secure the boys’ high-point award. Hilbun scored 80 points, Smith 74 and together they helped the Yellow Jackets win the team title going away with 350 points.

“I thought it was pretty funny, but it had really gotten me motivated,” Hilbun said of the message. “It’s my senior year and then I remember Colton’s right there behind me. It’s like, I needed a win in my last year.

“I figured it was him. He’s the one who pointed it out and he was kind of laughing about it.”

Hilbun won the only head-to-head battle they had in the meet, taking a “pretty intense” 50 butterfly in 29.25 to Smith’s 29.59. They both were entered in the 100 freestyle, but swam different heats; Hilbun won it in 57.10 to Smith’s 1:00.31.

Hilbun also won the 50 free (26.91) and the 100 individual medley unopposed. Smith won the 200 free (2:18.0) and 100 breaststroke (1:28.13).

“Any race that I’m racing against him at all really counts,” Hilbun said. “I had to win both if I wanted to win (high points). I was worried with the separate-heat race because I know in the past he’s beaten me by like half a second. It’s kind of hard to visualize racing someone when they’re not there. If I would have only won one that means we probably would’ve tied.”

That’s how the girls’ high-point race finished. Alexandria’s Juliane Hill and Weaver’s Lucia Balma came into the day as favorites and with the freshmen swimming different events the separation was expected to be their head-to-head matchup in the first event of the meet – the 100 free.

With the two BFF’s swimming side-by-side, the race ended in a dead heat — one touching high and one touching low at 1:07.59. Hill later won the 100 back, 50 free and 100 breast. Balma won the 50 butterfly, 200 free and 100 IM.

“I didn’t know we tied and when they told us I was like, ‘That’s amazing,’” Balma said. “It like shocked me. Right when I touched the wall everybody was like ‘Oh my gosh y’all tied.’ I was like, what? Then I went to check my time and saw I dropped time and was really happy, then she told me her time and it was the exact same time and I was like ‘Wow.’”

The only event not won by Hilbun, Smith, Hill or Balma was the boys 100 backstroke, won by Oxford’s Jordan Smith.

Calhoun County Swimming Championship
at YMCA Pool

Team scores
Oxford 350
Weaver 123.5
Alexandria 78.5
White Plains 68
Saks 64

Boys High Point Award
Trace Hilbun, Oxford 80
Colton Smith, Oxford 74
Jordan Smith, Oxford 67
Dylan Renfroe, Oxford 66
Tyler Swinford, Oxford 63

Girls High Point Award
Juliane Hill, Alexandria 78.5
Lucia Balma, Weaver 78.5
Abby Smith, White Plains 67
Caitlyn Holmes, Saks 48
Codi Besta, Weaver 45

Individual results
Boys Events

100 Freestyle: 1. Trace Hilbun, Oxford, 57.10; 2. Colton Smith, Oxford, 1:00.31; 3. Dylan Renfroe, Oxford, 1:11.47; 4. Tyler Swinford, Oxford, 1:18.87.

50 Butterfly: 1. Trace Hilbun, Oxford, 29:25. 2. Colton Smith, Oxford, 29.59.

100 Backstroke: 1. Jordan Smith, Oxford, 1:35.53; 2. Dylan Renfroe, Oxford, 1:36.35; 3. Tyler Swinford, Oxford, 1:51.05.

50 Freestyle: 1. Trace Hilbun, Oxford, 26.91; 2. Jordan Smith, Oxford, 33.84; 3. Dylan Renfroe, Oxford, 34.81; 4. Tyler Swinford, Oxford, 35.46.

200 Freestyle: 1. Colton Smith, Oxford, 2:18.0; 2. Tyler Swinford, Oxford, 3:20.0; 3. Jordan Smith, Oxford, 3:22.81.

100 Breaststroke: 1. Colton Smith, Oxford, 1:28.13; 2. Dylan Renfroe, Oxford, 1:44.03.

100 IM: 1. Trace Hilbun, Oxford, 26.91

Girls Events
100 Freestyle: 1. (tie) Juliane Hill, Alexandria, 1:07.59; 1. (tie) Lucia Balma, Weaver, 1:07.59; 3. Abby Smith, White Plains, 1:18.09; 4. Caitlyn Holmes, Saks, 1:26.57; 5. Codi Besta, Weaver, 1:39.48.

50 Butterfly: 1. Lucia Balma, Weaver, 37.50; 2. Caitlyn Holmes, Saks, 44.86.

100 Backstroke: 1. Juliane Hill, Alexandria, 1:21.50; 2. Abby Smith, White Plains, 1:26.41.

50 Freestyle: 1. Juliane Hill, Alexandria, 32.70; 2. Abby Smith, White Plains, 34.72; 3. Caitlyn Holmes, Saks, 41.82; 4. Codi Besta, Weaver, 44.25.

200 Freestyle: 1. Lucia Balma, Weaver, 2:34.69; 2. Caitlyn Holmes, Saks, DQ.

100 Breaststroke: 1. Juliane Hill, Alexandria, 1:42.52; 2. Codi Besta, Weaver, 2:04.13.

100 IM: 1. Lucia Balma, Weaver, 1:22.75; 2. Abby Smith, White Plains, 1:32.25; 3. Codi Besta, Weaver, 1:53.08.

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