The Mount Gilead Barracuda swim team has been busy traveling to meets in Galion and Tiffin.
Head coach Dina Snow explained that the season is very short, so once meets begin, “We will compete in three meets from Saturday to Saturday.”
The TCAL league they compete in now includes Upper Sandusky, Colonel Crawford, Bucyrus, Tiffin and Galion.
“Shelby was not able to find a coach, so they didn’t have a team this summer,” said Snow. “It is sad to see these great indoor facilities and kids wanting to swim, but yet, they couldn’t find a coach. The Marion Y also used to be a part of the league, but the coach prefers to have the swimmers compete in USA meets instead of a lower-key summer league.
“Galion has a very small summer team due to issues with practice times and cost, so Mount Gilead won the meet easily. There were not a lot of contested races, so I will just report on some of the interesting highlights,” continued Snow. “One of the best things was seeing how many relay teams we could put together to get kids the chance to swim. I was excited to see our 9-10 girls do well with their medley relay. It isn’t always easy to have young swimmers able to do the harder strokes like fly and breast, so we can’t always field a relay. Maizy Brinkman, Ryann Brinkman, Kaydence McKenzie and Ellie Rhea showed they could pull it off!”
The Galion meet was the first meet for six year olds Zane Grandstaff and Connor Robinson. “I’m told these two are best buds on the ballfield, so even though they were both a little nervous about swimming in their first meet, they cheered each other on and did a great job!”
Other highlights include great time drops in individual events by Kelsey Kneipp, Tatum Neal, Morgan Staley, Gabby Brinkman, Tyler Knight, Bradley West, William West, and Olivia Morrison. Michael Snopik also came within a tenth of a second in breaking the 13-14 boys 100 free record.
The swimmers also did well at Tiffin, despite an hour and 10 minute drive!
“Tiffin has some great swimmers by virtue of also being a Y team that can swim throughout the year, but we simply had more swimmers across the age groups to score,” said Snow.
Highlights include Tyler Knight and Madison Hack completing successful 100 IM races and Gavin Robinson breaking 1:20 in his 100 breaststroke.
In addition, “I am proud of Niles Bush for competing in his first meet—he has been a little nervous about giving it a try, but he was all smiles after Saturday!” said Snow. “Assistant Coach Robin Conrad is an expert at finding what motivates young swimmers!”
Other highlights include great improvements by Anavey Jodrey, Ellie Rhea, Gabby Brinkman, and Morgan Staley. Dramatic drops included Eric Mowery taking off eight seconds from his 50 back time and Kyndra Irwin dropping 13 seconds in her 100 free.
“Watching the swimmers achieve goals is so much more important than if we win or lose,” said Snow. “Being a summer team, our kids don’t have the luxury of months of conditioning, so it is rewarding to see their few weeks in the pool pay off. I am so proud of them.”
Next up for the swimmers: a dual meet at Bucyrus on Wednesday and the Colonel Crawford Hawaiian Invitational on Saturday.
Information received from Dina Snow.