LHS's Pettit earns silvers

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Ace swimmer state runner-up in 50, 100 free

By Robert Howey

Saturday was somewhat of a bitter-sweet day for Lancaster High School senior swimmer Jory Pettit.

Pettit, a six-year member of the Bruins’ swim team in his final swim as a high school swimmer, produced a pair of personal bests, but the stellar effort fell shy of the coveted state champonship at the Class AAAA state meet at the University of South Carolina Natatorium on Saturday afternoon.

Pettit, shooting to post a second straight Class AAAA 50-yard freestyle state crown, swam a 20.89 to finish second to Garrett Hills of Clover High School, who edged Pettit for the gold with a state record 20.83 showing.

A year ago when Pettit won the 50-meter freestyle state crown, he swam a 21.47.

In the 100-yard freestyle, Pettit swam a 46.50 to place second to Hills’ 45.88 effort.

A year ago, Pettit was the state runner-up in the 100-yard freestyle at the state meet in a time of 47.57.

“I felt like I gave it my best,” Pettit said. “I didn’t win, but I wasn’t totally disappointed.

“I shaved a second off my 100 yard freestyle time and a half-second off my 50-yard freestyle time.

“I was excited about what I did,” Pettit said.

Pettit’s LHS swim coaches were elated with his effort.

“Jory had two great swims on Saturday,” Lancaster High  swim team coach Marley Cole said. “He beat his best times ever finally breaking into the 20 seconds for his 50 free events.  He set his mind to beating his best time, not necessarily to beat the other swimmers.

“He worked really hard the weeks before on pacing himself to do the best he could do,” Cole said.

“Midenna (Anderson), David (Taylor) and I knew we did our job as his coaches,” Beckham said. “Jory got out of the water with a huge smile on his face because he did his very best.”

Anderson was also pleased with Pettit’s performance, which for the last two seasons produced a gold medal and three silver medals at the Class AAAA state meet.

“We are so proud of Jory. He swam an excellent meet,” Anderson said. “He dropped times in both events with his personal bests.

“Jory has been a true asset to the LHS swim team,” Anderson said. “Jory will be missed as will all the seniors.

“We are so proud of all the swimmers this year,” Anderson said. “We are 9 wins and only 2 losses for the season. This is a  great accomplishment. The 2012 team was a great team.”

 The LHS team qualified for the state meet at the region meet in Rock Hill where the Lancaster girls placed third, while the Bruins were fourth. LHS, as a team, finished third overall in the region meet.