Lexington got off to a shaky start at the Class 4A state swim meet at the USC Natatorium when the Wildcats girls 200 medley relay team was disqualified in the first event of the day.
It was merely a bump on the road. The Wildcats quickly recovered and produced what was arguably the best overall state meet performance in history by a Midlands program.
In the end, the Lexington boys team finished in second place behind Wando, becoming the first Midlands boys team in any classification to come home with a team trophy, while the girls rebounded from that early misstep to put together an eight-place finish.
Lexington’s combined boy-girl point total of 480 points was the second highest ever for a Midlands program, falling just short of Spring Valley’s haul of 483.5 points in 2003. However, SV did not earn a team trophy that season and the Wildcats easily would have been the first area program to post a combined state total of 500 or more points if not for the relay DQ.
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Moreover, the Wildcats boys and girls both finished in the Top 10 for the seventh time to maintain its lead over Spring Valley (6) in that category.
Lexington’s boys received scoring contributions from 10 swimmers on the way to a school record 303.5 points.
Vincent King, Jeffrey Mead, Colt Kirkpatrick and Eric Wenzinger all scored in four events, while Andrew Rutledge and Jonathan Rypkema contributed in three events.
Kings was the individual star with three-medal performance. He was third in the 50 free to become the Wildcats’ only individual medallist and he was part of two Top 3 relay teams. King joined up with Mead, Wenzinger and Evan Harris for a second-place finish in the meet-ending 400 free relay, and was on the third-place 200 free relay team along with Mead, Wenzinger and Kirkpatrick.
Mead had a strong showing in two individual events, placing fourth in the 100 backstroke and sixth in the 50 free.
Michelle Whitfield was the Lexington girls headliner. She was fourth in the 50 free and seventh in the 100 free, in addition to work on two relay teams. Whitefield teamed up with Erin Munn, Laura Garvin and Kelsey Smith for a third-place finish in the 400 free and a fourth-place showing in the 200 free.