The Mount Gilead swim team competed in the 11th annual Small Schools Invitational held at the James Steen Natatorium at Kenyon College on Saturday.
“This meet was originally established to allow teams from certain size schools to compete against each other. As time went on, it be came clear that some of the schools weren’t really all that small and their teams had more than 30 swimmers. In recent years, the Mount Vernon coaches pared it down to teams with 20 or fewer swimmers. There were a couple this year that snuck in over that number, but in general, it made for a more level playing field,” said coach Dina Snow.
“This was a very fun meet. The pool is gorgeous, the meet runs smoothly and most of the swimmers achieved some personal bests. Because we only have nine swimmers, I really wasn’t worried about the overall results and simply enjoyed seeing how well my team did. We got back on the bus before the results were announced, but found outs on the way home that our combined boys and girls scores earned us a fourth place finish out of 22 teams. Every swimmer contributed once again, either individually or in relays, so that, combined with the high finishes earned by three of our swimmers, gave us a nice point total.”
Earning first place finishes were Evan Zmuda in his 200 IM and 100 breast, and Emily Hanft in the 50 free.
Bringing home second place honors were Hanft in the 100 free, and Casey Conrad in the 100 fly. The boys 200 medley relay (Eric Mowery, Evan Zmuda, Casey Conrad and Gavin Robinson) came in third, and the same foursome also scored in the 200 free relay. Emily Hanft, Cassandra Snopik, Adriana Tinch and Kelsey Kneipp scored points in both the medley and the free relays.
Also scoring in individual events were Casey Conrad, 100 free; Eric Mowery in the 100 free and 100 back; Gavin Robinson in the 500 free and 100 breast; Adriana Tinch in the 100 back; and Cassandra Snopik in the 100 breast. Achieving personal bests were Kelsey Kneipp in the 50 free and 100 free; Tyler Knight in the 100 free and 100 breast; Adriana Tinch in the 100 free and 100 back; Gavin Robinson in the 500 free and 100 breast; and Eric Mowery in the 100 free and 100 back.
“It is so fun to watch the swimmers’ faces as they look up at the scoreboard and realize they not only met a goal but passed it!” exclaimed Snow.
The team will host a home meet at the Marion YMCA on Dec. 20 at 6:30 p.m. Also competing will be Kenton, River Valley, Marion Elgin, Crestline, Jonathan Alder and Wynford.