By Hartsville Vidette Staff Reporter

BRENTWOOD — Twelve Wilson Countians represented Excel Aquatics in its Thoroughbred Invitational last weekend.
Placing in the top eight were Lebanon’s Luke Blackwell, Madison Blackwell, Samuel Blackwell and Bradley Gillilan and Mt. Juliet’s Taylor Wallace and Kelsey Copeland. Also competing were Chelsie Barlettano, Dallas Barlettano, Josh Deardorff, Makensie Moses, Taylor Moses and Alek Nochowicz.
Winners were Taylor Wallace (13-14 boys 400-yard individual medley) and Bradley Gillilan (13-14 boys 500 freestyle). Wallace finished the 400 IM in 4:33.34, a drop of over 10 seconds, and finished in the top five in six other events. The Mt. Juliet High freshman will swim for Coach Kathy McCabe this season.
Copeland, a Mt. Juliet sophomore, finished in the top eight in the 13-14 girls 200 freestyle, 100 backstroke and 200 backstroke.
Gillilan won the 500 free in 5:20.21, an 8.79-second drop. He followed that performance with a second-place finish in the 1,000-yard free in 11:05.92, missing first place by .83 seconds. The Lebanon High freshman, who will swim for Coach Jaymie Reynolds this season, placed in the top eight in all but one of his nine events, improving his times in all nine.
“This was a great meet for our kids,” Excel assistant coach John Barnes said. “Of 74 events competed in by these 12 swimmers, there were 61 best times.
“Chelsie Barlettano of Lebanon competed in her first meet and did very well. Her brother, Dallas, had a very nice time drop in the 10-and-under boys 50-yard free.
“Our two 7-year-old swimmers, Makensie Moses of Mt. Juliet and Samuel Blackwell of Lebanon, made their mark as future forces to be reckoned with. Makensie continued improving her times in all of her events, and Samuel placed sixth in the 25-yard breaststroke in the first time he has competed in a meet.”
Moses’ older brother, Taylor, competed in the 11-12 boys events. Despite battling an injury, he dropped over 18 seconds in the 500-yard freestyle.
“Taylor is a tough kid, I was glad that he gutted it out and swam his events,” Barnes said.
Luke Blackwell was 10 for 10 in improving his times with notable drops in the 13-14 boys 400 IM (seventh place and over a 22-second drop) and the 1,000 free (third place and over a 15-second drop). Younger sister Madison Blackwell placed eighth in the 11-12 girls 50 backstroke and eighth in the 200 IM.
“I was really pleased with Madison in her butterfly events,” Barnes said. “Her technique continues to improve, and as she gets stronger, I’m confident that Fly will be one of her better events.”
Mt. Juliet’s Nochowicz, a freshman at Pope John Paul II High School in Hendersonville, went 6 for 6 in improving his times with a notable drop of over six seconds in the senior boys 100 breaststroke and placing ninth in the 500 free.
Josh Deardorff of Lebanon, an 11th-grade home-school student, dropped time in the senior boys 50 freestyle as a good measurement of where he is in his preparation for the High School State Championship Meet.
On the Web: www.SwimWilsonCounty.com