The Mount Gilead swim team opened their season with a successful showing at the Viking Splash Invitational held Saturday at New Albany High School.

Coach Dina Snow was extremely pleased with the outcome.

“We only took eighth swimmers to this meet — four boys and four girls. The girls placed seventh out of 13 teams and the boys came in fifth out of 12 teams. Together, they finished fifth out of 13 teams. That is especially impressive because such a small team means we don’t even have swimmers in many of the events. All the swimmers contributed to the point total and many swimmers achieved times at their first meet that equaled or improved upon their personal best times. Our kids were up Mount Vernon, Big Walnut and Watkins Memorial, to name a few, and we made a great showing.”

The freshmen did very well in their first high school meet. MG hasn’t had a girls relay in three years, but with the addition of Emily Hanft, Adriana Tinch and Kelsey Kneipp, along with sophomore Cassandra Snopik, the girls scored fifth in the medley relay and fourth in the free relay. Hanft also won first in both her 50 and 100 free. Tinch achieved a PR in her 100 free and scored in her 100 back. Kneipp competed in the 50 free and 100 free, giving her benchmarks as a first year swimmer. Snopik came in fifth in the 100 breast and also scored in the 100 free.

Freshman Eric Mowery came in fourth in the 100 free, earning a personal best, and also scored in the 100 back. The boys medley relay, made up of Mowery, junior Gavin Robinson and seniors Casey Conrad and Evan Zmuda, came in fourth and the free relay earned a third place finish.

Zmuda came in first in his 100 breast.

“That was an amazing race,” said Snow. “He was neck and neck with the swimmer from Mount Vernon and just dug in and pulled it off, finishing only two seconds slower than his district time from last season!”

Casey Conrad also had a successful meet, finishing second in both his 100 fly and 100 free with times just slightly slower than his personal bests.

Gavin Robinson finished second in the 500 free and seventh in the 100 breast.

Next up for the Indians will be a tri-meet against Shelby and Galion on Dec. 13, followed by a home meet at the Marion Y on Dec. 20.