Mackenzie Farner Represents Central in Hamilton County Swimming

Landon Cook, Staff Writer

One of the newest additions to Central High Athletics is the swim team. Although it may not be one of the mainstream competitive sports, some students and schools still show passion for it. Central brings the addition of one participant to the competition: Mackenzie Farner.

Farner is currently the only active member that attends Central, but she doesn’t let that alter her strive for success. She co-ops with the other members hailing from East Hamilton High School, allowing for the completion of a full team while still representing Central. Farner, alongside other schools such as Hunter Middle and Ooltewah High, are all coached by Mikal Thurman. Thurman also serves as an assistant coach for the SETS year-round club team. 

This past season, there were a total of 8 meets in various settings around the city, including one final meet for the state championship. Farner competed in several events: the 200 individual medley, which encompasses the butterfly, backstroke, and breaststroke, and the 100 backstroke. In order to compete at State, there are qualifying times that need to be met during swim meets. For the 200 individual medley, a time of 2:31.09 must be met, and for the 100 backstroke, a qualifying time of 1:07.89 must be achieved. 

Being the only member on the team for Central does not affect Farner negatively.  She continues to have fun while competing with people from other schools.

During the regular meets of the season I co-op with the East Hamilton swim team so I’m not really by myself for the whole season but the agreement is that when I compete at the state high school championships I compete as Central High School,” stated Farner, “but being the only person doesn’t really have an affect on me because even at state when I was the only athlete for Central some of my other teammates from the East Hamilton team were also there, so it felt like any other meet.” 

Due to COVID-19 restrictions no spectators were allowed to come watch students compete in-person; however, the meets were live streamed in order for parents to tune in and watch virtually. Despite the setbacks due to COVID, Farner has not let anything get in her way, and she looking forward to competing more intensively next season.

“I’m looking forward to next season and hoping it is as fun as this year’s with the addition of hoping our parents can come watch us again.” Farner shared.

Readers can view the latest sports updates on the sports center page. This is where schedules, scores, and rosters will be posted. The Digest will continue to bring the latest coverage and updates as the 2021-22 seasons begin.