On July 8, the Mount Gilead Barracudas competed at the TCAL Championships held at Colonel Crawford High School. It was Mount Gilead’s year to host, although the lack of a regulation pool means the team must rely on other teams for their facilities.
“The outcome of the meet as far as first place is always a given,” said coach Dina Snow. “Colonel Crawford had over 90 swimmers in the meet, so as always, they took first place. Second place was up in the air, though, with tough teams like Upper Sandusky and Bucyrus in the running. When they announced the results, I just about jumped in the air because Mount Gilead came in second! Our kids came through and our relays helped us outpace Upper Sandusky 1196-998! Every swimmer scored points, and that means a lot. We also managed to capture one of the age-group trophies from Colonel Crawford, and that was for the 13-14 boys. We have a strong group of very talented swimmers in that category, so it was fun to bring that hardware home, too!”
Gold medalists were: the 9-10 boys medley relay (Niles Bush, Hawke Littell, Brice Haughn and Kasey Fiant); Hawke Littell, 8-under 25 free; Michael Snopik, 13-14 boys 50 free; Brice Haughn, 9-10 boys 25 fly; Joel Conrad, 11-12 boys 50 fly; the 13-14 boys medley relay (Snopik, Tyler Knight, Eric Mowery and Mason Kidwell); and the 13-14 boys free relay (Knight, Mowery, Snopik and Joel Conrad).
Bringing home silver medals were the 11-12 boys medley relay (Nathan Rabun, Luke Fraizer, Joel Conrad and Bradley West); Tyler Knight, 13-14 boys 100 IM and 50 breast; Ryann Brinkman, 8-under girls 50 free; Joel Conrad, 11-12 boys 100 free; Michael Snopik, 13-14 boys 100 free; Luke Fraizer, 11-12 boys 50 breast; Erin Zmuda, 15-18 girls 100 breast; Evan Zmuda, 15-18 boys 100 breast;the 9-10 boys free relay (Niles Bush, Hawke Littell, Zane Grandstaff and Connor Robinson); and the 11-12 boys free relay (Nathan Rabun, Luke Frazier, Brice Haughn and Bradley West).
Rounding out the medal count with Bronze were the 15-18 boys medley relay (Logan Conrad, Evan Zmuda, Casey Conrad and Gavin Robinson); Joel Conrad, 11-12 boys 50 free; Hawke Littell, 8-under boys 50 free; Erin Zmuda, 15-18 girls 100 fly; Casey Conrad, 15-18 boys 100 fly; Evan Zmuda, 15-18 boys 200 free; the 8-under girls free relay (Abigail Griffith, Anavey Jodrey, Ryann Brinkman and Alina VanHorn); the 15-18 girls free relay (Erin Zmuda, Kylie Irwin, Adriana Tinch and Cassandra Snopik); and the 15-18 boys free relay (Conrad, Zmuda, Conrad and Robinson).
“Having swimmers finish in the top three is fantastic, but our second place finish would not have happened without all the swimmers who did their best in their races and scored valuable points,” said Snow. “A championship meet is scored through 12th place and each team can only score three swimmers, so just having events filled by MG swimmers meant we could sometimes score more from 5th, 6th and 7th than the first place winner did!”
Points were added in the following areas:
Relay events: Skye Shipman, Taylor Robinson, Michaela McGill, Kyndra Irwin, Kendall Neal, Maizy Brinkman, Ellie Rhea, Ryann Brinkman, Grace Mowery, Madison Hack, Keana Littell, Kamry Grandstaff, Tatum Neal, Syntyche Black, Kaydence McKenzie, Samantha Sellers, Mason Kidwell, Sammie West, Wesley Bush and William West.
Individual medley: Madison Hack, Sammie West and Gavin Robinson.
Freestyle: Gabby Brinkman, Ryann Brinkman, Abigail Griffith, Zane Grandstaff, Connor Robinson, Kaydence McKenzie, Ellie Rhea, Brice Haughn, Niles Bush, Kasey Fiant, Kyndra Irwin, Madison Hack, Grace Mowery, Keana Littell, Nathan Rabun, Wesley Bush, Kylie Irwin, Adriana Tinch, Eric Mowery, Mason Kidwell, Cassandra Snopik, Rachel Davis, Kelsey Kneipp, Logan Conrad, Gavin Robinson and Casey Conrad.
Butterfly: Keana Littell, Adriana Tinch and Tyler Knight.
Backstroke: Gabby Brinkman, Abigail Griffith, Anavey Jodrey, Hawke Littell, Zane Grandstaff, Connor Robinson, Kaydence McKenzie, Maizy Brinkman, Niles Bush, Kasey Fiant, Nathan Rabun, Kylie Irwin, Taylor Robinson, Skye Shipman, Eric Mowery, Mason Kidwell, William West, Rachel Davis and Evan Zmuda.
Breaststroke: Ryann Brinkman, Madison Hack, Grace Mowery, Kyndra Irwin, Bradley West, Wesley Bush, Michaela McGill, Sammie West, William West, Cassandra Snopik, Logan Conrad and Gavin Robinson.
The team wrapped up the season with an awards banquet held at the Mount Gilead Pool on July 12. Swimmers were honored by age group for the achievements, improvements and hard work throughout a season marked by frequent cold weather. The team recognized three most improved swimmers: Kasey Fiant, William West and Kelsey Kneipp. The following swimmers also broke team records: Ryann Brinkman and Hawke Littell, 8-under 50 freestyle; Kylie Irwin, 13-14 girls 100 backstroke; Eric Mowery, 13-14 boys 200 freestyle; Michael Snopik, 13-14 boys 100 freestyle; Evan Zmuda, 15-18 boys 200 free and 50 breast; and Casey Conrad, 15-18 boys 100 fly.
Coach Snow and assistant coach Robin Conrad also recognized Casey Conrad, Joel Conrad, Taylor Robinson, Logan Conrad and Keana Littell for helping to coach the younger swimmers. The team also honored seniors Erin Zmuda and Logan Conrad for their many years of swimming for the Barracudas. Erin is off to Otterbein University to study nursing, while Logan will be training in the Naval Nuclear Propulsion program. The coaches thank all the parents and grandparents for all their help and support, as well as the Village of Mount Gilead for the use of the pool.