Despite the sudden blizzard-like conditions that hit last Wednesday, the Mount Gilead swim team hosted their final home meet of the year at the Marion YMCA. Visiting teams included River Valley, Marion Elgin, The Wellington School, Bucyrus and Jonathan Alder.
The team recognized seniors Evan Zmuda and Casey Conrad, and the mood was festive as several of the other teams also honored their seniors.
“Both of these young men have been a huge asset to our team. They work extremely hard and take the sport seriously. Both are district qualifiers and team record holders in individual events and are a major reason that we have had our relays also qualify for districts over the past four years. I will miss them very much,” said Coach Dina Snow.
The boys team finished third of six teams, just 15 points behind River Valley, while the combined score placed the team fourth.
“Once again, I am amazed at how well our small team does against a large field. We can’t fill all the events, so coming out on top is pretty impossible, but all the kids were seeded well in their individual events and did great!” said Snow. “In addition, the team has battled sickness since school resumed after Christmas break, so it was a tough situation for some of them to power through their races.”
First place finishers were Gavin Robinson in the 200 free; Emily Hanft in the 50 and 100 free; Casey Conrad in the 100 fly; Eric Mowery in the 100 free; and Evan Zmuda in the 100 back. Scoring second place were the boys 200 medley free relay (Mowery, Zmuda, Conrad, and Robinson); Evan Zmuda in the 500 free; Casey Conrad in the 100 back; the girls 200 free relay (Hanft, Cassandra Snopik, Adriana Tinch and Kelsey Kneipp); Cassandra Snopik in the 100 breast, Gavin Robinson in the 100 breast, he and the boys 400 free relay (Conrad, Zmuda, Robinson and Tyler Knight).
Snopik also finished third in the 50 free. Eric Mowery added points in the 100 free, as did Tyler Knight in the 200 IM and 100 free, and Kelsey Kneipp in the 100 breast.
On Saturday, the team traveled to Colonel Crawford for the NCOSL Championships.
“This league was formed for a number of teams that changed conferences or did not have one for swimming. In our case, Mount Gilead went to the KMAC conference — sadly, we are the only school with a swim team,” explained Snow. “The hard part is that we don’t see most of these teams until this meet, and there is also not the recognition for top finishes like we used to have with the MOAC. We fought hard just to bring enough teams on board over the years to have an MOAC championship and now that is gone for us. Swimmers that received top finishes in the MOAC were honored at the annual Red and Blue Division banquets. Again, we no longer have this way to go honor them. We basically have certificates we can fill out with their first team, second team and honorable mention honors, and medals for top finishes.”
First team NCOSL honors were earned by Evan Zmuda in the 100 breast and Emily Hanft in the 100 free. Zmuda also earned second team recognition for his finish in the 200 IM, as did Casey Conrad in the 100. Honorable Mention for third place went to Hanft in the 50 free and to the boys 200 medley relay (Eric Mowery, Evan Zmuda, Casey Conrad and Gavin Robinson).
Also adding points were Gavin Robinson in the 200 free and 100 breast, Casey Conrad in the 200 free, Cassandra Snopik in the 50 free and 100 breast, Tyler Knight in the 50 free and 100 breast, Adriana Tinch in the 100 free and 100 back, Eric Mowery in the 100 free and 100 back and Kelsey Kneipp in the 100 breast.
“We also had a few swimmers earn Prs at this meet, but in general, the swimmers look toward the sectional and district tournaments to get their best times since we train harder now and then rest. Gavin Robinson earned a PR in his 200 free, as did Kelsey Kneipp in the 50 free and Adriana Tinch in the 100 back,” said Snow. “The girls 200 free relay(Hanft, Snopik, Tinch and Kneipp) also lowered their time and are within striking distance of districts.”
The Indians will travel to Columbus Academy on Feb. 10 for sectionals and to Ohio University for the District meet on Feb. 16.
Information received from Dina Snow.