The Aberdeen Swim Club concluded its High Point Swim Meet at the Aberdeen Aquatic Center on Sunday. It’s the only home event of the season for the Stingrays.
“The meet this weekend was fantastic. It was the first time I’ve had the chance to see a swim meet run at the AAC’s pool,” said ASC coach Sam Gaddie. “Our families did an amazing job ensuring that the visiting swim teams had a great time here in Aberdeen, and our athletes competed with what seemed like an urgent need to protect their home pool.”
For many of the participants, the meet marked the first competition in more than a year after COVID impacted last season.
“For many of our swimmers, this weekend was their first unrestricted swim meet since the beginning of the pandemic,” Gaddie said. “That ability to relax and just be a kid at a swim meet did a lot for our athletes’ overall confidence, energy and enjoyment of their time this weekend.”
While there were many races and results during the course of the three-day meet, the Stingrays had a strong showing and are gearing up for the rest of their summer season.
“All in all, the Aberdeen Summer High Point Meet left me extraordinarily impressed,” Gaddie said. “Our families did an amazing job as volunteers, the pool was perfectly run, and our swimmers showed that they’re right on track toward having a great Long Course Season.”
FROM WARM TO WINDY
The conditions changed from one day to the next during the swim meet. The tents that encircled the pool on Saturday to provide shade were gone Sunday because of windy conditions.
Some swimmers wore jackets when they were out of the water, while others ran for towels as soon as they got done swimming.
However, the overcast skies and cooler conditions may have helped some swimmers.
Haley Cahoy, member of the Aberdeen Swim Club, thought she swam more quickly “because you can get out of the water faster” and then warm up.
The 11-year-old said the backstroke is her favorite event.
“You don’t have to keep on going under water, so you can catch your breath all the time,” Cahoy said.
THE NAME GAME
A pair of Aberdeen Swim Club members stood out on Sunday because they not only had their name on the swim caps, they also had their nickames.
“I just kind of came up with the nickname,” said Ryan “the Rocket” Schmidt. “For a while I’ve been wanting to put it on my cap. I finally convinced my parents to do it.”
Right next to him was his teammate, Max “the Missile” Nelson. The 12-year-old was preparing to put that nickname to the test.
“I’m about to use my missile skills in a few heats and win my race,” Nelson said.
When asked if it was hard swimming against the wind, Nelson responded, “I haven’t tried it, so we’re going to see if it’s hard or not.”
The 11-year-old Schmidt said he didn’t mind the conditions.
“I like it cooler,” he said. “It makes me more excited to get in the water.”
Both swimmers lived up their nicknames, winning their heats in convincing fashion.
A COACH FOR ALL AGES
Whether coaching little kids or adult athletes, Dave Molesworth of Alexandria, Minn., enjoys the sport of swimming.
Molesworth is the swim coach at the University of Minnesota-Morris and also guides the Alexandria Swim Club.
“The fun part about that is college is really all about finite coaching. Everything you do is a quarter of a inch, a couple of degrees. Everything is so finite, so fine-tuned,” Molesworth said. “The fun part about coaching these young kids is like just pull into your body, just stay on your back to the finish. They’re so excited when they drop time. The college kids, they drop a tenth of a second and that’s ecstatic for them. These kids are dropping 10 seconds and it’s exciting for them. There’s such a difference. It makes it fun to coach the whole gamut of the age groups.”
Molesworth said in college, swimmers can spend a long time fine tuning just one little aspect. He said the youngsters might do something wrong three times, then get it right, only to go back to doing it wrong.
He said the big thing is that the kids are having fun in the pool.
“These kids are having a blast. That’s what this sport is about. It’s all about fun. The kids that have natural talent just kind of take off at young ages which is great, but it’s all about these kids learning and having fun and really enjoying the sport forever,” Molesworth said. “If they learn to do that, they’re going to compete well, they’re going to continue to improve, but they’re never going to give up on the sport.”
Mesh the two completely different age groups together, and it keeps Molesworth excited and energized.
“It really is fun to coach both and they kind of energize me for each other,” Molesworth said. “The college kids energize me to stay on top of the latest techniques and the little kids it’s just about having fun for them. I love it.”
CHARTING HER OWN PATH
Sports is a big part of the Fites family.
Mary is a standout volleyball player and Maggie is an accomplished gymnast.
Marcie is a member of the Aberdeen Swim Club.
“None of my siblings went into it,” she said of swimming. “My mom kept saying you’re not going to like it, so I proved her wrong. I just love the water.”
Fites was one of many swimmers who found themselves dealing with the much cooler elements on Sunday following a recent heat wave.
“I like it hotter,” Fites said, “because when it’s cold your muscles start cramping up so then it’s hard to swim.”
For complete Sunday results click on the following link:
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