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SPOTLIGHT
Smith enjoying his time with Hays Hurricanes

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Smith enjoying his time with Hays Hurricanes

Published on -7/8/2012, 8:10 PM

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By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

Nearly four years ago, Isaac Smith was introduced to competitive swimming by one of his friends.

His friend encouraged him to join the Hays Hurricanes, a local swimming club that goes to meets throughout the region, and Smith was receptive to the idea.

"I begged my parents for like a week, and they let me start it," Smith said.

His friend stopped swimming shortly after, but Smith kept with it. After more than three years of development, Smith, now 10, has emerged as one of the top swimmers on the team. He dominates many of his races and is the only member of his team to have qualified for the Division I swim meet at Lawrence three weeks from now, qualifying in multiple events.

At the swim meet Saturday at the Hays Aquatic Park, Smith won the 50-meter butterfly, 50-meter breaststroke, 200-meter IM and 100-meter freestyle. He also finished second in the 50-meter backstroke.

"I just like (swimming) so much, because I've got to push myself to do it," Smith said.

Smith said his parents have played an integral part in his development as a swimmer, supporting him throughout the year.

"They come from a great swimming family," said Hays Hurricanes president Dana Stanton. "Their parents are very supportive of their swimming and their other sports."

Swimming has become a family activity. In fact, his little brother Zachary, 7, is following in Isaac's footsteps.

Zachary finished second in his age division in the 50 freestyle, 50 backstroke and 100 freestyle and third in the 50 breaststroke.

Zachary joined the club after watching his brother compete for years. He said he looks up to his brother and wants to swim like his brother.

"My brother started to swim, and then I did," Zachary said.

Stanton said sibling swimmers are common.

"The little ones will watch along the side, and they can't wait to get in," Stanton said. "So when they are old enough, they are ready to compete."

Stanton was pleased with how the team competed Saturday, walking away with multiple top-three finishes and Division II meet qualifying times.

"I think our swimmers did great today," Stanton said.

Top finishers

Gracie Stanton finished second in the 50 butterfly -- her favorite swimming stroke.

She's qualified for the Division II meet in Hutchinson two weeks from now, and she said she's happy with her performances so far. However, she said she still has room for improvement.

"I want to make my times faster," she said.

Megan Flavin, 10, won the 50 butterfly and 100 freestyle and finished second in the 50 freestyle.

Conner Cupp, 10, finished second in the 200 IM, and Kallyn DeWitt, 10, placed second in the 100 freestyle.

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