The Mount Gilead swim team opened the summer season with an away meet against Upper Sandusky. While the Black Marlins prevailed over the visiting Barracudas 300-192, there were many successful swims.

“We were in school so long this year that beginning practices was a challenge,” said coach Dina Snow.”We have over 60 kids on the team, and while school was in session, we had to alternate days of practice between older and younger swimmers just to use our one hour of pool time safely. School finally got out and we were pumped to begin our morning practice routine….and then it got cold and rainy!”

Despite the challenges, coach Snow was very please with how well everyone did their first time out., especially the beginner swimmers.

“It was kind of a crazy meet, though, since it started out sunny and then continued to grow more threatening as the night went on. As we headed into the last relays, people were packing up and running to their cars even as the kids worked against the wind to finish their races! I think we cancelled the last two just to take cover—the joys of outdoor pools!”

“Our team also had to join a new league in order to compete this summer,”explained Coach Snow. “Fortunately, Upper Sandusky had been in our old league as well, so it was a familiar place to have our first meet, and their team and coaches are all very helpful. My hope is once the weather improves, we can start working on some of the harder strokes and events so we can be more competitive.”

The team is also coached by Robin Conrad and Barracuda alum Casey Conrad.

“It has been so great to have talented helpers working with swimmers at so many ability levels. I really appreciate them.”

First-time competitors included Emma Marquis, Trinity Robinson, Chloe Bolton, Adylynn Brown, Cleo Young, Kayla Young, Hudson Hand, Marshall Hand, Quillen Rocks, Aaron Rabun, Evan Irons, Danielle Pohlkotte, Cassidy Irwin, Camryn Travis, and A’lesha White.

“It was also great to have Jaxon Tinch and Ellie Rhea back on the roster after some time off, as well as Logen Bailey from the high school winter team,” said Snow.

Earning first place finishes in individual events were Emma Marquis and Hudson Hand in the 6-u 25 free; Connor Robinson, 25 free and 25 breast; Hawke Littell, 25 free and 25 back; Joel Conrad, 100 IM, 50 fly and 50 breast; Luke Fraizer, 50 free; Cassandra Snopik, 50 free and 50 breast; Michael Snopik, 50 free; Zane Grandstaff, 25 back; Shyla Pruden, 50 back; Keana Littell, 50 back; and Tyler Knight, 50 breast.

Bringing home second place points were Trinity Robinson, 25 free; Chloe Bolton, 25 free and 25 back; Zane Grandstaff, 25 free; Elias Bulkowski, 25 free; Jacquelynn Gibson, 50 free; Synteche Black, 50 free; Cleo Young, 25 back; Taylor Robinson, 50 back; Mason Kidwell, 50 back; Brice Haughn, 50 breast; and Luke Fraizer, 50 breast.

Rounding out top finishes with third place were Tyler Knight, 100 IM; Cleo Young, 25 free; Shyla Pruden, 50 free; Brice Haughn, 50 free; Keana Littell, 50 free; Gavin Robinson, 50 free; Hudson Hand, 25 back; Evan Irons, 25 back; and Kendall Neal, 50 breast.

A number of relays scored valuable points as well. Nate Rabun, Luke Frazier, Joel Conrad and Brice Haughn teamed up to take first in the 13-14 boys 200 Medley Relay.

The 8-under girls 100 free relay (Trinity Robinson, Adylynn Brown, Emma Marquis and Avery McClelland) earned 1st, as did the 8-under boys 100 free relay (Connor Robinson, Zane Grandstaff, Cleo Young and Hudson Hand). Evan Irons, Jesse West, Elias Bulkowski and Hawke Littell took first for the 9-10 boys 100 free relay, as did the 13-14 boys 200 free relay (Luke Frazier, Hayden McClelland, Nathan Rabun and Aydyn Newson) and the 15-18 boys free relay (Joel Conrad, Tyler Knight, Gavin Robinson and Michael Snopik).

Additional relay points were earned by the 15-18 boys 200 medley relay (Michael Snopik, Gavin Robinson, Tyler Knight and Mason Kidwell), the 11-12 girls 200 free relay (Jacquelynn Gibson, Shyla Pruden, Ellie Rhea and Kendall Neal) and the 15-18 girls 200 free relay (Cassandra Snopik, Taylor Robinson, Keana Littell and Tatum Neal).

The team also competed at Loudonville on Saturday, but results were not available at press time. Next up will be a meet at Crestline on June 19.

Information received from Dina Snow.