Maintaining consistency is one of the tough things for any high school athletic program. Athletes come and go so that means talent levels will fluctuate. Maintaining a method can be one of the keys to developing a prideful program and ensuring success year in and year out. That has been a big part of the formula for the Smyrna High School swim program over the years. Upon the recent completion of the 2022-23 season, we found once again the aquatic Bulldogs have plenty of bite about them.
One of the things that have made Smyrna swimming one of the best programs in school history is consistency from a leadership standpoint. Tony Trumphour has been the only head coach in program history and his teaching and approach have been ultra-consistent over his 30-plus years leading these Dogs. A student of the game, the former sport's standout at Nashville East High has employed different methods depending on his team makeup, but his goals of success have always been the same.
“I have been very fortunate to have had lots of great kids over the years”, says Trumphour. “This year is no different. We try and build from the beginning with a solid layer of fitness and fundamentals. From there we just want to get better and grow as individuals and as a team as the season progresses.”
The 2022-23 squad was another classic example of Smyrna’s prowess in the pool. Following a successful regular season with many highlights, the Dogs paddled into the Region meet looking to continue to get better.
The girl’s squad stepped up in Region competition in typical Bulldog fashion. Ellie Lifferth and Madison Dempsay swam season-best times in both the 50 and 100 freestyle. These two girls were joined by Taylor Terry and Julianne Elliot in turning in a season-best time in the 200-medley relay. Trinity Jackson and Paige Kaylor accompanied Dempsay and Lifferth on a 200 freestyle squad that also swam a season-best time.
Not to be outdone, the boy’s team also rose to the occasion. Seven different Dogs collared season best times in the Region waters. Tyler Addison (50 free, 100 butterfly), Zack Carlin (100 backstroke), Michael Cook (100 breaststroke), Kaden Jackson (50 and 100 free), Carson Lifferth (50 free), Austin Mills (50 free, 100 breaststroke), and Andrew Painter (50 and 100 free) all turned in season-best swims. The boys' 200 freestyle relay team (Mills, Painter, Lifferth, Addison) and 400 freestyle relay team ( Mills, Painter, Jackson, Addison) also swam best times.
In a continued effort to magnify the Bulldog way, Smyrna swimmers sank their teeth into the State meet in Knoxville. Tyler Addison broke the school record in the 100 butterfly and swam a season-best in the 50 freestyle. For those scoring at home, the butterfly record had been in place since 2008 (Ryan Simpson). The 200 freestyle team from Region competition again turned in a season-best dropping nearly 3 seconds. The 400 freestyle squad shaved a whopping seven seconds off their region time.
“We are very pleased with the determination and efforts of all of our swimmers”, says Trumphour. “We take a lot of pride in what we do and these kids bought into the program. Being able to swim our best at the end of the season is a testament to their hard work.”