The Mount Gilead High School swimmers were off to a busy start in 2018, beginning with a multi-team meet hosted by Marion Harding on Jan. 3. Other teams participating were Marion Elgin, River Valley, Marion Pleasant and Crestline.
“Considering that our practices were interrupted by the holidays, the swimmers braved the cold to come out and perform very well,” said coach Dina Snow. “It is a tough time of year with the weather, travel, and increased training to gear up for the end of our season—not to mention the disruption that our break causes with lots of different foods, lack of sleep and travel. We still had some swimmers achieve personal bests at this meet, so I am really happy for them!”
Earning first place finishes were Emily Hanft in the 200 free and 100 back, Cassandra Snopik in the 50 free, Casey Conrad in the 200 free and 100 fly, Evan Zmuda in the 500 free, and the boys 200 free relay (Conrad, Zmuda, Gavin Robinson and Eric Mowery). Hanft set a new school record in the 200 free and earned a place in the top 4 for her backstroke.
Scoring second place were the boys 200 medley relay(Mowery, Zmuda, Conrad and Robinson), Zmuda in the 200 IM, and Adriana Tinch in the 100 free. Rounding out the top finishes with third were Gavin Robinson in the 200 free and 100 breast.
The girls medley and free relays(Hanft, Snopik, Tinch and Kelsey Kneipp) also added points, as did Eric Mowery, Tyler Knight, Snopik and Kneipp in additional individual events. Tinch, Snopik, Robinson and Mowery all earned personal bests during the meet.
The team then hosted the fourth annual Division 2 Public School invitational on Jan. 6. The 10-team meet included Bexley, Bucyrus, Columbus Beechcroft, Galion, Marion Elgin, Marion Harding, Marion Pleasant, River Valley and Upper Sandusky.
“This is has been an important money maker for us and an exciting way to showcase the kind of crowds that a swim meet can draw,” said Snow. “Of course, this is also a downside since the Marion Y isn’t ideal for a lot of spectator space, and there wasn’t a spot to put lots of swimmers between events. Everyone was very cooperative, however, and we saw lots of exciting swims! First place trophies went to the Galion boys team and the Bexley girls team. Our boys came in fifth—just six points behind Marion Harding. Everyone on our team scored points, so it was a successful day! As I have said before, we only have nine members total, while some of the teams have over 50 swimmers!
“I really want to thank the Y for helping us put on a meet of this size—the aquatics director and staff were just great. Every parent on our team helped out and pitched in to accomplish clean up in record time! We have a great group that is so willing to give of their time,” added Snow.
Finishing in first place were Emily Hanft in the 100 free, and Evan Zmuda in the 100 breast.
Hanft placed second in the 50 free, and Zmuda earned a third place spot in the 200 IM. The boys medley relay (Eric Mowery, Zmuda, Casey Conrad and Gavin Robinson) also scored 3rd and the free relay(same four) was fourth.
Scoring important points in their individual events were Gavin Robinson, 200 free and 100 breast; Casey Conrad, 100 fly and 100 back, Kelsey Kneipp, 50 free and 100 breast; Tyler Knight, 50 free, Adriana Tinch, 100 free and 100 back; Eric Mowery, 100 free and 100 back, and the girls medley and free relays(Hanft, Snopik, Tinch and Kneipp). Robinson, Tinch, Kneipp and Mowery also earned personal bests at this meet.
Coming up for the swimming Indians: the Madison Sprintvite on Jan. 20 and the last home meet of the season on Jan. 24.
“Please come and support the team. We will recognize our seniors, Evan Zmuda and Casey Conrad, at this meet,” said Snow.
Information received from Dina Snow.