On Tuesday night, January 19th, the Switzerland County Pacers and the Switzerland County YMCA hosted the second annual Ohio River Valley Conference Swimming invitational.
With only four of the seven ORVC schools fielding teams, swimming cannot be an official sport, therefore Tuesday night’s meet was not considered a conference championship; but that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the swimmers from the four schools.
The YMCA natatorium has probably never been louder. In addition to the hosts, Milan, Southwestern and South Ripley sent teams.
The Switzerland County team performed well, but with only nine swimmers it was difficult to score enough points to compete for a team championship.
The Lady Pacers, with only four swimmers, finished fourth with 101 team points. The team victory went to the ladies from South Ripley, which fields the biggest squad. All four Lady Pacers swam in the three relays, which only allows each to swim in one individual event.
Senior Shelby Cole finished seventh in the 50-yard freestyle, swimming a time of :37.22 seconds. Freshman Mary Streett and junior Faith Reynolds swam the 100-yard freestyle. Streett finished fourth with a personal best of 1:10.96; and Reynolds finished ninth with a time of 1:21.88. Senior Megan Chitwood finished fourth in the 100-yard backstroke posting a 1:26.78.
With five swimmers the boys Pacer team scored 180 team points for a third place finish. Milan High School took the title with 263 team points.
The boys got off to the great start, setting a new school record in the 200-yard medley relay. Nathan Braun (backstroke), Nick Braun (butterfly), Colton Penick (breaststroke) and Gabriel Streett (freestyle) grabbed first place medals, posting a time of 1:59.77. It was an exciting start to the meet as Streett, swimming the anchor leg, entered the pool about a length behind his Milan opponent. He quickly closed the gap and pulled away after the turn winning by more than a second.
The same group of four boys ended the meet by setting their second school record of the night in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:57.84. Colton Penick swam the anchor leg in :56.93 seconds, but even that was not enough to catch a powerful Milan team, which took the medals.
In between these two records, the boys swam well.
Penick posted a 2:09.39 on his way to a third place finish in the 200-yard freestyle. Freshman Dalton Faddis set a personal best (3:30.28) in the 200-yard individual medley. Nick Braun finished second in both the 50-yard freestyle (:26.43) and the 100-yard butterfly (1:10.06).
Nathan Braun broke the one-minute barrier and set a personal best while taking the medal in the 100-yard freestyle. Nathan Braun finished ahead of Streett, who took second in the event. Faddis joined Nathan Braun, Streett and Penick in winning the 200-yard freestyle relay posting the time of 1:53.98. Finally, Faddis set a second personal best of the night (1:31.35) finishing fourth in the 100-yard backstroke.
Coach Eric Cole was pleased with how the team performed. “I am very proud of how both the boys and girls swam”, Cole said. “Though we are a smaller school, which makes it hard to compete for team wins, we certainly turn heads with our swimmers.”