On Dec. 2, the Mount Gilead swimmers faced the Pleasant Spartans in their first dual meet of the season at the Marion YMCA. The MG boys pulled off a surprise 122-110 victory over Pleasant, while the girls were defeated 129-35.
“I was very pleased with this first outing, “said new head coach Dina Snow. “We have 16 boys on our squad this season, with several swimmers new to the sport. After only three weeks of practice, they really rose to the challenge and did their best. Our girls team really took a blow this season, losing six seniors and not really gaining any swimmers. Our only freshman has been sidelined with an injury already. It has been really hard after many years of fielding competitive girls relays to watch a meet without one at all. I am proud of them for keeping their spirits up and working hard.”
First place finishes were earned the 400 free relay(Jay Stratton, Aaron Evans, Colton Long and Andrew McFarland); Colton Long in the 200 IM, Erin Zmuda in the 50 and 100 free, Kyle Landes in the 50 free, Casey Conrad in the 100 fly, Cassidy Hack in the 100 back and Evan Zmuda in the 500 free and 100 breast.
“Evan’s times in these events were also new school records. For him to do that at our first meet is really exciting!” said Snow.
Adding to the points with second place finishes were Kyle Landes, Evan Zmuda, Casey Conrad and Kurtis Brown in the 200 medley and free relays; Tyler Jones in the 200 IM; Cassidy Hack in the 200 free and Casey Conrad in the 200 free.
Rounding out the top finishers in third place were Jay Stratton in the 100 back, Marion McGill in the100 back, Kurtis Brown in the 50 free, and Stratton, Dylan Knight, Aaron Evans and Noah Arrington in the 200 B Medley Relay.
Several of the new swimmers also scored points in JV heats, including Gavin Robinson with a first in the 50 free, Trenton Ball, John McGill and Allena McLaughlin.
The team then traveled to New Albany on Saturday to compete in the Northridge Viking Splash Invitational. This meet has traditionally featured smaller Div. II schools from around the area, but this year, Mount Vernon’s team was there.
“We have always done well at this meet, coming home with a trophy in the past. With Mount Vernon in the mix, it really changed things,” said Snow. “The team swam well, however, and our boys finished fifth out of 11 teams. The championship scoring goes down to 12th, but only two swimmers from a team could score in an event. That didn’t allow us to use our depth as well as I would have liked. On the plus side, several swimmers swam their personal bests.”
Finishing in the top three in their events were Erin Zmuda, with a first in the 100 free and 2nd in the 50 free; Evan Zmuda with 2nd in the 100 breast and third in the 500 free; Casey Conrad with a a third in the 100 fly; and the third place free relay team of Kurtis Brown, Evan Zmuda, Casey Conrad and Kyle Landes.
Also scoring for MG were the 200 medley relay (Landes, Zmuda, C. Conrad and Brown); Cassidy Hack, 8th in the 200 free and 9th in the 100 back; Casey Conrad, 9th in the 200 free; Colton Long, 7th in the 200 IM; Tyler Jones, 8th in the 200 IM and 9th in the 100 back; Kyle Landes, 8th in the 50 free and 7th in the 100 free; Logan Conrad, 10th in the 50 and 100 free; Dylan Knight, 10th in the 100 breast; Jay Stratton, 7th in the 100 back; and the 400 relay team of Jay Stratton, Tyler Jones, Gavin Robinson and Colton Long, 9th place.
Personal bests were achieved by Noah Arrington, Trenton Ball, Cassidy Hack, Casey Conrad, Colton Long, Gavin Robinson, Jay Stratton, Kyle Landes, Andrew McFarland, Marion McGill, John McGill, Kurtis Brown, Logan Conrad and Dylan Knight.
Information received from Dina Snow.