By Brenda Hendricks

Special to the Pioneer

SPEARFISH — The Black Hills Gold Swim Team conducted its 2020 awards “banquet” on Thursday, April 23.  

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and group restrictions, the banquet originally scheduled for April 2 was finally held in a drive-by format. Swimmers and their families received their awards from coaches one by one, with all receiving a poster with all the recipients of special awards listed.

“It, of course, wasn’t what we had planned nor wanted to do, but it was important to us that the swimmers were recognized for their accomplishments this season and were able to get their awards the best way we could think of while also observing social distancing restrictions,” head coach Brenda Hendricks said.

“Hopefully we will all be able to be together soon for a larger, more formal gathering, but it was still good to see all of our swimmers even if it was briefly and from afar. While we wish we could have seen the smiles in person, it was also fun to see the pictures parents posted of their swimmers opening their awards at home,” Hendricks added.

Athletes were recognized in many areas. They included those who dropped the most time throughout the season (Beat the Clock), Most Improved, Rookie of the Year, Coaches’ Choice, Spirit, meet participation, practice attendance, and the Black Hills Gold Letter for 7th – 12th graders.  

Although all cannot be listed here, special recognition went to a number of swimmers.

Beat the Clock: Kenzi Quam (392 seconds), Peyton VanDeest (198 seconds), Ethan Van Tassel (196 seconds), Owen Fauske (177 seconds), Brooklyn Flemming (172 seconds), Connor Aalbu (161 seconds), Finley Fauske (158 seconds), Sophia Weigel (150 seconds).

Most Time Drops, Golden Nugget Practice Group: Finely Fauske (21), Zaylee Williams (18), Emma Walker (14).

Most Time Drops, Age Groups 1 Practice Group: Rylan VanDeest (20), Jameson Baker (18), Lauren Dagit (17).

Most Time Drops, Age Group 2 Practice Group: Kenzi Quam (38), Peyton VanDeest (36), Evan Foss (35).

Most Time Drops, Senior Practice Group: Owen Fauske (41), Ethan Van Tassel (38), Brooklyn Flemming (27).

Spirit of Gold: Marlee Hetzel, Josh Jolley.

Most Improved: Rebecca Van Osdol, Elaina Snow, Lauren Dagit, Owen Fauske.

Rookie of the Year: James Binder, Jameson Baker, Taylor Tennant.

Coaches’ Choice: Isla Johnson, Evan Foss, Anna Eisenbarth, Jordan Jolley.

National Recognition of Times (A – AAAA): Brooklyn Flemming (200-meter backstroke, 200 freestyle), Connor Aalbu (100 butterfly), Conrad Thorman (50 freestyle, 500 freestyle, 200 individual medley, 400 individual medley), Tarynn Ball (50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle).

Letter Earners: Owen Fauske, Brooklyn Flemming, Ethan Van Tassel, Paul Wehrung, Tarynn Ball, Lainey Hall, Tristin Hendricks, Alejandra Hernandez, Conrad Thorman.

South Dakota Top 16 List: Sophia Weigel, Zaylee Williams, Finley Fauske, Anna Eisenbarth, Brooklyn Flemming, Tarynn Ball, Alejandra Hernandez, Lainey Hall, Connor Aalbu, Owen Fauske, Tristin Hendricks, Conrad Thorman.

Graduating Senior Recognition: Lainey Hall, Conrad Thorman.

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