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LOUISVILLE - It was a big weekend for Bullitt East senior Mason Turlington at the Region II Swimming Championships as he qualified for two events at the Kentucky State Swimming and Diving Championships next weekend in Louisville.
Turlington will be joined at the state championships by Bullitt East freshman Kelli Rae Alcorn who advanced in one event out of the regional.
A few miles away from the University of Louisville swimming facility, the Region III Wrestling Championships were being conducted at Fairdale High School. North Bullitt sophomore Redemann and Bullitt Central sophomore Mike Saunders each qualified for the Kentucky State Wrestling Championships this Friday and Saturday in Lexington.
Turlington will be making his fourth trip to the state championships next week after a strong weekend at the regional finals at the Ralph Wright Natatorium on the University of Louisville campus.
Competing in the boys’ 50-yard freestyle, Turlington raced through the water in a time of 22.12 seconds in Friday’s preliminaries which was good enough to put him into Saturday’s championship heat. The next day, Turlington beat that time with a clocking of 22.09 to finish fourth. The win went to Thomas Cooper of Trinity in an All-American time of 21.15.
When all the regional times were collected on Monday, Turlington has the sixth fastest time heading into the state preliminaries on Friday.
Turlington also had a ninth-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 58.62 in the finals. He will be seeded 31st in the event at the state meet.
Bullitt East senior Alex Cooke finished 18th in the backstroke event.
For Alcorn, she had a strong showing in the girls’ 100-yard freestyle. The freshman swam a 55.56 in the Friday preliminary race to qualify for the consolation final. On Saturday, her time of 55.70 was good for tenth overall. She will be qualified 22nd for the state preliminaries.
Alcorn also finished 12th in the 200-meter freestyle in a time of 2:03.39.
With those finishes listed above, Bullitt East finished 12th in the boys’ team race with 19 points. Alcorn’s two finishes gave Bullitt East four team points and a 15th place finish.
It was a long day for local wrestlers on Saturday and then into Sunday at the Region III Wrestling Tournament at Fairdale.
In the end, only two local wrestlers qualified for the state meet which will be held at the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington on Friday and Saturday. Two wrestlers advancing is the lowest total for the local schools in a number of years.
The good news is that the wrestlers that did advance are underclassman as North Bullitt’s Tony Redemann and Bullitt Central’s Mike Saunders are both sophomores. The county also had two wrestlers qualify for state as ‘alternates’ with fifth-place finishes in the region. Those two were Bullitt Central senior Jacob McCarthy at 132-pounds and Cougar sophomore Mark Saunders at 182-pounds.
Redemann, who won the state junior-varsity state title three weeks ago, finished fourth in the 152-pound division with a 3.2 record. In the consolation final, Redemann had a tough loss as he dropped a 2-0 decision to Robbie Valdez of Holy Cross.
Mike Saunders won his first two matches but then lost in the semi-finals. In the consolation final, Saunders was stopped by Cody Hoskins of Meade County on a fall at the 3:59 mark.
This will be the first trip to the state championships for both Redemann and Saunders.
Both Redemann and Saunders were seeded fifth heading into the regional. In fact, no Bullitt County wrestler was seeded better than fourth.