Tifton Gazette

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December 4, 2013

Tidal Wave swimmers excel at St. Petersburg meet

TIFTON — On Nov. 22, eight Tiftarea Tidal Wave swimmers traveled to St. Petersburg, Fla. for a training trip that also included participating in a swim meet at the Northshore Aquatic Complex. The swimmers were Beau Bengston, J.D. Bengston, Carrie Engram, Cason Johnston, Kirsten Murphy, Karoline Ponder, Lauren Stone and Eden Troxell.

At the meet, which took place that weekend, the group totaled 21 top three finishes. Beau Bengston won all eight of his individual events. Cason Johnston made her first state championship cut in the 200 freestyle, becoming the fifth team member to be qualified. Karoline Ponder was the youngest swimmer of the entire meet to compete in the 1000-yard freestyle.

The group stayed in Florida through the following Tuesday to practice in the Olympic size 50-meter pool alongside another elite team visiting from Colorado.  During their free time the team visited Winter the Dolphin at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, toured the largest sand castle exhibit on the gulf coast, hung out on the beach and completed a team open water swim in the Gulf of Mexico.

"Each swimmer that made the trip had multiple swims that were life time bests" said Tidal Wave head coach Dustin Bengston.  

"We have been limited on the amount of pool time that has been available to us, so we have had to be creative and flexible.  As we approach the second half of the season and are able to spend more time in the pool, I am really excited to see their performances take off even further."

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  • public safety awards.tif

    Pictured are the honorees of Thursday night's annual Public Safety Officer Appreciation and Awards Banquet by the Tifton Elks Lodge. Shown, from left, are Louise Spradley, who organized the banquet, Eddie Brown with the Tift County Emergency Medical Services, Sgt. Debbie Pyles with the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Police Department, Sgt. Bart Walker with the Omega Police Department, Officer of the Year honoree Thomas Catanzarita with the Tift County Sheriff's Office Jail Division, Deputy Jonathan Toledo with the TCSO, Brandi Conway with the Tifton-Tift County Animal Shelter, Georgia State Patrol Trooper Ben Taylor, Officer Brian Shockley with the Tifton Police Department and volunteer Firefighter Brian Fincher with the Chula Fire Department.

    LEOs and first responders honored at banquet

    A room full of local law enforcement and first responders were honored Thursday night by the Tifton Elks Lodge at their annual Public Safety Officer Appreciation and Awards Banquet for their service in the community.
    Prior to the awards being given out, Louise Spradley, who organized the banquet, welcomed everyone, and the invocation and pledge were led by the Tift County Sheriff's Office Honor Guard.

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