The Marion Y natatorium was filled to capacity for the fifth annual Div. II Public School Invitational, hosted by Mount Gilead.
In addition to the host team, the 10-team meet was attended by Bexley, Bucyrus, Colonel Crawford, Columbus Beechcroft, Galion, Marion Elgin, Marion Harding, Marion Pleasant and River Valley. Trophies for the top three finishers for both men and women were awarded. For the women, Colonel Crawford dominated the meet, followed by Bexley and Galion. On the men’s side, Galion took top honors, followed by Bexley and Colonel Crawford.
“There was some incredible swimming today. Even though all the schools are Division 2, that is a pretty wide open category, and a school can still have more than 30 or 40 swimmers. The top finishers all have historically strong programs and many swimmers swim for clubs year round. It is definitely not a level playing field, but it is still a great learning experience,” said Mount Gilead coach Dina Snow.
“We thank the Marion Y for allowing us to host a meet of this size,” she continued. “It isn’t easy when the Y still has all its normal programming and no place to put 200 swimmers! With the help of parents and family members, the meet ran very smoothly and actually finished ahead of the predicted time. It is an opportunity for us to make some money to put back into the program since we do have to rent the pool for our practices.”
MG’s roster was reduced due to illness, but several swimmers turned in excellent swims. Gavin Robinson placed 2nd in the 100 breast and 3rd in the 200 free with personal best time. Eric Mowery was third in the 100 free and also earned a personal best time. Joel Conrad also improved his 100 breast time with his 3rd place finish.
Also scoring were Joel Conrad in the 200 IM; Cassandra Snopik in the 50 free and 100 breast (also a personal best); Mason Kidwell in the 50 and 100 free; Adriana Tinch in the 100 fly (personal best); Emily Hanft in the 50 free; Kelsey Kneipp in the 100 breast (personal best); and Taylor Robinson in the 100 back. The girls medley and free relays (Hanft, Snopik, Tinch and Kneipp) added valuable relay points, as did the boys medley and free relays (Mowery, Conrad, Robinson and Kidwell). Sophomore Logen Bailey and freshmen Mary Kelty and Skye Shipman also competed in the meet.
The Indians will have compete next at Oakstone Academy on Jan. 16, followed by a sprint invitational at Mansfield Madison. The next home meet and Senior Night will be on Jan. 23 at the Marion Y.
Information received from Dina Snow.