The Mount Gilead Summer swim team has had a busy season, which will wrap up on July 14 with the TCAL championships.
The team is made up of 53 swimmers from age seven up to 18 and is coached by Dina Snow and Robin Conrad, with assistance from Joel and Casey Conrad. While most swimmers come from Mount Gilead, the team is open to any Morrow County student who might be interested.
Representing 8-under swimmers are Gabby Brinkman, Max and Elias Bulkowski, Makalya Carlisle, Zane Grandstaff, Avery McClelland, Connor Robinson, and Alina Van Horn. The 9-10 age group includes Ryann Brinkman, Anthony Bump, Niles Bush, Kasey Fiant, Leandra Gray, Abigail Griffith, Hawke Littell, Griffin McClelland, Kendall Neal, Natalie Rose and Jesse West. 11-12 year olds are Luke Fraizer, Kamry Grandstaff, Jacquelynn Gibson, Brice Haughn, Hayden McClelland, Kaydence McKenzie, Carson Mowery, Aydyn Newson and Nate Rabun.
The largest age group is the 13-14 year olds, made up of Syntyche Black, Wesley Bush, Joel Conrad, Madison Hack, Kyndra Irwin, Mason Kidwell, Abby Kincaid, Keana Littell, Michaela McGill, Tatum Neal, Taylor Robinson, Skye Shipman, Michael Snopik, Adriana Tinch, Bradley West and William West. Finally, rounding out the 15-18 year olds are Casey Conrad, Kelsey Kneipp, Tyler Knight, Eric Mowery, Gavin Robinson, Cassandra Snopik, Sammie West and Evan Zmuda.
“We have a great group of first year swimmers, and they probably have learned more quickly than any other beginner group we’ve had,” reported Snow. “I hope they all come back next summer! It also exciting to think about the 13-14 year olds moving up to high school in the next year or two.” Snow also coaches the MGHS varsity swim team.
Despite the roller coaster weather, the swimmers performed well at their first meets. Being a part of the TCAL league, MG competes against Bucyrus, Galion, Colonel Crawford, Tiffin and Upper Sandusky. The TCAL teams also enjoyed a Saturday competing against teams from the ASAC league, with Mount Gilead and Tiffin traveling to host team Shelly Acres. Sadly, some of the TCAL teams are struggling with numbers and help from their host YMCAs.
“In our meets with Bucyrus and Galion, about all you could see were purple suits across the blocks! Several of our first meet hosts also did not provide results to us that I could report on, so we haven’t been able to get the info into the Sentinel,” said head coach Dina Snow.
On June 23, a good number of the Mount Gilead swimmers traveled to Colonel Crawford for the Hawaiian Invitational.
“This is a fun meet where the swimmers and families dress up in Hawaiian gear, get a chance to dance a little and compete in some different age combinations,” said Snow. “In past years, we didn’t have enough swimmers to contend, but we had a lot of fun bringing home the Aloha Team Spirit Award. This year, Mount Gilead won the first place visiting team trophy—a pretty big deal for us!”
Earning first place gold medals were Brice Haughn, 50 free; Connor Robinson, 25 breast; and Joel Conrad, 50 breast. Silver medalists were the 8-9 boys medley relay (Kasey Fiant, Niles Bush, Hawke Littell and Griffin McClelland), the 12-13 boys medley and free relay (Nate Rabun, Luke Fraizer, Joel Conrad and Brice Haughn); the boys 14-over medley relay (Eric Mowery, Evan Zmuda, Casey Conrad and Tyler Knight); Hawke Littell, 25 free; Casey Conrad, 100 fly, Brice Haughn, 25 breast, Evan Zmuda, 100 breast, and the 8-9 boys free relay(Hawke Littell, Max Bulkowski, Connor Robinson and Elias Bulkowski).
Rounding out the medal count with bronze were Brice Haughn, 25 free; Joel Conrad, 50 free; Carson Mowery, 50 free and 25 breast; Gavin Robinson, 200 free; Nate Rabun, 50 back; Casey Conrad, 100 back; Cassandra Snopik, 100 breast; and the 14 and over free relay (Casey Conrad, Tyler Knight, Evan Zmuda and Michael Snopik.
Many other team members scored additional points in other events to bring the team total high enough to bring home the trophy. Scoring in the 13 and under age groups were Avery McClelland, Ryann Brinkman, Kasey Fiant, Madison Hack, Keana Littell, Kyndra Irwin, Elias Bulkowski, Max Bulkowski, Nate Rabun, Hayden McClelland, Natalie Rose, Kendall Neal, Aydyn Newson, Abigail Griffith, Tatum Neal, Syntyche Black, and Kamry Grandstaff. Scoring in the 14 and over category were Taylor Robinson, Cassandra Snopik, Adriana Tinch, Kelsey Kneipp, Michael Snopik, Gavin Robinson, Evan Zmuda, Eric Mowery and Tyler Knight.
Information received from Dina Snow.