Salina Central swimmers break four school records at AVCTL-II-IV meet

Mustangs also shatter league mark in medley relay

Dylan Sherwood
Salina Journal

Heading into Friday's Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League Division II-IV Championships, Salina Central's swimmers had one thing on their mind. 

Break more records. 

Zoe Burmaster already had shattered the Central mark three times this season in the 100-yard backstroke, and the 200-yard medley relay team of Burmaster, Azbey Peckham, Olivia Moore and Kate Jennings broke the school record in their final regular-season meet on May 6.

On Friday, not only did those records fall again, but Burmaster and Peckham added their names in two more events to the Central record board at the South Natatorium. Burmaster set a school record with a time of 2:21.91 in the 200 individual medley while Peckham did the same in the 100 butterfly (1:02.94).

Salina Central’s Kate Jennings takes a breath while competing in the 200 yard medley relay in the Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League Division II-IV Championships at Salina South natatorium on Friday. Central’s relay team that consisting of Zoe Burmaster, Kate Jennings, Azbey Peckham and Olivia Moore received first place with a time of 1:56.24 with Andover Trojan’s team consisting of Jill Dean, Emma Henry, Natalie Neugent and Reagan Bayliff close behind with 1:56.54.

The quartet's time in the 200 medley was also a new league meet record. 

"The girls definitely were eyeing all of them," Salina swim coach Dawn Sheforgen said said. "We had some different records break than we had planned, but everyone had breaking records on their minds." 

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Peckham knew it was going to be her day in the pool when she finished second to Andover's Natalie Neugent in the 100 fly. 

Salina Central’s Azbey Peckham takes a breath while competing in the 200-yard medley relay in the AVCTL II-IV Championships at Salina South natatorium on Friday.

"I knew exactly what I had to do, and I just knew what I had to do today," Peckham said. "We've been working on this all year. We knew it was bound to happen sometime. We broke our (200) medley again, and it's just so fun to watch Zoe break her record. We work so hard and we deserve it.

"We've been swimming together for so long and we've been working so hard lately. Zoe has been making Olivia and I do more sets than we're supposed to."

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Sheforgen said Peckham had a plan to get her name in the record books. 

"She went out there and was like, 'I feel fast,'" Sheforgen said. "She told me, 'This is what I'm going to do off my walls. This is what I'm going to do with turn.' 

"She executed all of those perfectly, right on, and she dropped a ton of time and killed that record." 

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Moments after Peckham set her record, she met up with her mother, Jennifer, thanking her for all the things she's done for her to be successful in the pool. 

"When I started (swimming), she knew nothing about it, and I was like, 'Mom, I did it,'" Azbey said. "I told her it was going to be my day and she knew today was going to be my day. We were just so excited." 

"She has taken me to all my swim practices. She supports me in swimming. She's become a swim expert."

Burmaster needed a come-from-behind victory to break the 100 back record for the fourth time this season. She won the event in a time of 1:02.43 by taking the lead on her third turn during the final 25 yards. Her time in the 200 IM was good for second. 

Salina Central’s Olivia Moore drives in the pool during the 200-yard medley relay in the AVCTL Championships at Salina South natatorium on Friday.

"I know that's where I catch people," Burmaster said. "I really just need to work on my front edge and work on my third turn to keep cutting." 

Central also got a third-place finish from the 200-yard freestyle relay team of Burmaster, Jennings, Peckham and Moore (1:45.66). 

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"I could not have been more proud of everyone on the team," Burmaster said. "Overall, we had a great league meet. Everyone did so well. 

"Just being able to come and swim at my home pool, it's amazing. We worked really hard this week."