Ryan Walker and T.C. Smith continued their remarkable falls this weekend in Austin, Texas. The two state champion swimmers went to the Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center at the University of Texas at Austin for the Speedo Winter Jr. Championships from Wednesday to Saturday and managed impressive performances.
Smith, a junior at Bayshore High School, swam for the Sarasota Tsunami Swim Team and finished second in the 1650-yard freestyle. His time of 15:16.42 left him just short of Atlanta's Taylor Delk, who finished in 15:16.42. Smith also finished second in the 500 freestyle, and competed in preliminaries for 400 individual medley, 200 freestyle and 200 backstroke.
Walker, who recently completed his senior season at Braden River High School, didn't reach the finals in any of events, but swam preliminaries in 50 freestyle, 100 breaststroke and 100 freestyle.
Smith concluded his junior season at Bayshore in November with a Class 2A state championship in the 500 freestyle. Walker won the Class 3A state championship in 100 breaststroke.
Marauders gather gifts
The Bradenton Marauders teamed up with The Salvation Army on Saturday to collect more than 200 gifts during the inaugural Marty's Toy Drive at Pirate City. The donations
will benefit Salvation Army's "Adopt a Family" program in Manatee County.
This holiday season, the "Adopt a Family" program will provide gifts for nearly 2,000 children in the county.
At the first Toy Drive, the Marauders handed out complimentary promotional items, breakfast and ran a raffle for donors. Winners for the raffle will be contacted at a later date.
Mets capture majors title
The Heritage Harbor Cal Ripken baseball league concluded its fall season Dec. 6 with its majors division championship. Led by Matthew Mitchell, Cohen Buice, Seth Gross, Tyler Howland, Jacob Bordner, Holden Pollock, Austin Ziarno, Kobe Cassidy, Tyler Hunt, Aiden Herbert, Hunter Gray and Jack Lynch, the Mets topped the Royals, 8-5, to win the Fall Major Division Championship.
David B. Wilson, sports reporter, can be reached at 745-7057 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @DBWilson2.