Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

January 17, 2013

Touchton swims course to Asbury

ASHLAND — Parker Touchton didn’t have to look far for swimming role models when he took up the sport as an eighth-grader.

“Lemar Linton and Josh Johnson graduated my freshman year,” Touchton said of the Ashland Blazer and Ashland Area YMCA swim team standouts.

Linton received a scholarship from Louisville, while Johnson chose Western Illinois.

Touchton, now a senior, is seeing the fruits of his own dedication in the pool. He signed a Letter of Intent earlier this week at the Ashland Y to continue his swimming career at Asbury University near Lexington.

“Seeing what those guys did with swimming, it inspired me to swim in college and follow it farther,” Touchton said.

He heard about Asbury, a Christian liberal arts institution, through his home church — First Baptist of Ashland.

“I went for a visit in November and kind of fell in love with the place,” he said. “Keeping God focused in all of it, that’s one of the things I like. They actually had a swim meet while I was there. I got to spend the night in a dorm.”

Touchton carries a high grade point average and is already taking some college classes.

A two-year captain for the Tomcat swim team, Touchton is pointing toward high school regionals early next month in northern Kentucky.

One of his career highlights was qualifying for the State Swimming and Diving Championships in the 500-yard freestyle as a sophomore. Last year, he missed it by less than a second in two events.

“That kind of pushed me this year to train harder,” Touchton said.

He stopped swimming the 500 this season, focusing on the 50, 100 and 200 freestyles. Coach Billy Cox called Touchton a team leader and said there is no questioning his enthusiasm.

“Parker is one of the most enthusiastic and fired-up individuals that I’ve ever met,” Cox said. 

Touchton only began swimming as an eighth-grader and joined the Ashland Area YMCA Barracudas team as a freshman.

“He kind of started late,” Cox said. “Parker encourages the younger swimmers, and just does a lot of things right.”

Last March, Touchton was high-point runner-up in the Boys 15-18 age group at the Kentucky YMCA state championships for the Ryan Ferguson-coached Barracudas. He won the 200 and 500 freestyle races, while also placing second in the 100 butterfly and 400 individual medley.

Touchton’s final year of high school competition is progressing well, according to his coach.

“Parker is having a real good season,” Cox said. “He’s been excited about swimming in college for quite a while. His times have dropped pretty consistently over the last four years.”

Along with individual events, Touchton continues to be a leader on the Tomcats’ 200 and 400 freestyle relays.

“Hopefully, I will make it to state in four events,” he said.

Another major objective for Touchton is qualifying for Y Nationals this spring. Down the road, he hopes to make the 2016 Olympic Trials.

“I practice in the morning, then practice in the afternoon,” he said. “I love doing that.” 

ROCKY STANLEY can be reached at rstanley@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2671.

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • Golf scramble will benefit Paramount Arts Center

    Paramount Woman’s Association’s seventh annual Ladies’ Golf Scramble is scheduled for Aug. 11 at Bellefonte Country Club.

    July 30, 2014

  • Kittens call on Ingram

    Somebody had to follow Dave Miller.
    Scott Ingram is pleased to be the coach to fill the vacancy for the man who built Ashland Blazer softball into a perennial state Top 25 program. The Kittens have won the 16th Region championship every year since 2009.

    July 29, 2014

  • 0729kypgaJr0034.jpg Golfers go out with an encore

    Evan Goble said he “wasn’t completely ready for a playoff” on Monday.
    That didn’t stop him from holing two pressure-packed playoff putts to win the 13-14-year-old division of the final event of the summer on the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour at Bellefonte Country Club.
     

    July 29, 2014 4 Photos

  • EKC Grid-O-Rama set for Aug. 15-16

    The annual Eastern Kentucky Conference football scrimmage contests are set for Aug. 15-16 at Fleming County and Raceland.

    July 29, 2014

  • Holliday embraces high expectations

    As Marshall football prepares to return to the gridiron to begin fall practice Aug. 4, this season the program finds itself labeled something that it has not been in many years: a favorite.

    July 29, 2014

  • Mobley, Jude key for EKU

    Eastern Kentucky coach Dean Hood has revamped the Colonels’ defense in hopes of containing OVC opponents’ spread offenses.

    July 29, 2014

  • ZACK KLEMME: Punchless Reds wasting solid pitching

    The last nine days have been an exercise in understanding just how slim the margin for error is for baseball teams — even good ones — that can’t score.

    July 27, 2014

  • 0726fbPrac0079.jpg Practice rolls on as kickoff approaches in less than 5 weeks

    As high school football teams strap on helmets and prepare for Friday nights next month, the theme of the first couple of weeks of practice for most is simple.
    You gotta work. Hard.
    And if you don’t, it’ll be exposed come Aug. 22.
    “Everybody looks good in helmets,” Ashland coach Tony Love said with a grin. “We’re all undefeated. There’s a lot of work to get done.
    “Our coaches and kids, we all know it, and that’s why they’re here and we’re here, and we’re gonna push hard every day.”

    July 25, 2014 4 Photos

  • kenzie-breaststroke.jpg Pennington makes push for Nationals

    Swimmer Kenzie Pennington had one last chance to make the cut for this year’s YMCA Long Course National Championships.
    The 15-year-old from Ashland didn’t disappoint.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Salyers shoots 75 for title at Lakeside

    Baylee Salyers of Flatwoods shot a 3-over par 75 at Lakeside Golf Course on Thursday to win the Girls Open division of the Walmart Kentucky PGA Junior Tour event.

    July 24, 2014