SIDELINES: Swimmer Lucy Noble thrives on competition

Lucy Noble has never backed down from a challenge.

That’s why the Flagler Palm Coast swimmer will be competing in the 100-yard backstroke at the Class 4A state championships on Nov. 5 in Stuart.

Noble, who specializes in the freestyle sprint events, will also swim in the 50-yard freestyle in her final high school state meet. Last year, she finished 13th in 50 free and was 17th in 100 free at state. But at the beginning of this season, when it came time to pick her two events, Noble picked the backstroke over the 100 free.

“She’s so versatile, she can swim all four strokes well,” FPC coach Tom Gillin said.

In fact, she owns the Bulldogs’ school records in the 100-yard breaststroke and the 100-yard butterfly. Gillin believes her future in college — she will swim at Eastern Michigan University next year — is the individual medley.

The 100 backstroke was not really on her radar until she lost a close race to DeLand’s Anna Monette in a dual meet last year. Monette was the top backstroker in the area. Monette beat Noble under water on the turns. Instead of moving on and concentrating on her regular events, Noble studied film of the race.

At the Five Star Conference meet, she said she wanted to swim in the 100 back to get another shot at Monette. This time, Noble won the event, reversing the tables on Monette.

“Lucy beat her under water. It was an exciting race,” Gillin said. “She was really motivated to work her walls better. I think that gave her the confidence that the backstroke can be one of her best events.”

Noble is the only FPC swimmer to qualify for state this year. She finished third in the 100 back and fourth in the 50 free at the Region 1-4A meet on Oct. 29. She enters state seeded ninth in 50 free with a time 24.14 seconds and 12th in the backstroke at 58.57 seconds.

“She’s one of those swimmers that doesn’t seem to get nervous. She enjoys the competition.”

— TOM GILLIN on FPC swimmer Lucy Noble

She is in the mix to reach the A finals (top eight in preliminarys) in both events.

“She wants to break 24 (in the 50 free),” Gillin said. “She’s one of those swimmers that doesn’t seem to get nervous. She enjoys the competition.”

Indeed, at state last year she tied for 17th in preliminaries in the 100 free with Creekside’s Kylie White. no. 17 in the alternate to get into the B final in the unlikely event that one of the swimmers drops out. Noble and White were given the option of a coin flip or a swim-off to decide the alternate spot.

“Lucy said, ‘Let’s swim off.’ She swam about a second and a half faster than her prelim time a half hour earlier,” Gillin said. “She just races whoever’s next to her. She’s the same way in lifeguard competitions. She’s always someone you like to put at the end of a relay. She’s a diamond in the rough. The next four years she’s going to keep dropping her times. I don’t know if the Eastern Michigan coach knows what he’s getting.”

Grand Haven croquet club competes in Friendship Cub

Four members of the Grand Haven Croquet Club traveled to Chesapeake Bay, Virginia to compete in an international golf croquet tournament, Oct. 20-23.

Dorothy Silliman placed second in the first flight among 40 women competing in the Women’s International Friendship Cup Golf Croquet Tournament hosted by the Chesapeake Bay Croquet Club.

Also competing with Silliman from the Grand Haven club Kathie Gamble, Mijai Pagano and Nancy Crouch.

Flagler Bulldogs Youth Football teams advance

Two Flagler Bulldogs Youth Football teams won their divisions at the Mid Florida Football and Cheerleading Conference District Championship on Oct. 30 at Winter Haven.

The Flagler Bulldogs 8U team defeated Winter Haven Wolverines 14-13, and the Flagler Bulldogs 12U team won 35-0.

Both teams will advance in the playoffs. Their next games will be on Sunday, Nov. 6 in Winter Haven agains the North Tampa Uptown Eagles.

The Flagler Bulldogs 6U team has also advanced and will play the Tampa Ravens on Nov.6 at the Central Florida Fairgrounds.

The Bulldogs’ 10U also had a successful season but lost in the first round to the Wolverines.

Ricshay Nelson, the Flagler Bulldogs president, and Ashley Perkins, the head administrator said the teams would not be successful without the support of the coaches, team moms and the parents.

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