PARKERSBURG -For some of the veterans, competing at the Great Lake Zone Championship swim meet is like old hat.
Beginning today, 15 representatives from the Parkersburg YMCA will start their journey while competing against elite swimmers from a five-state region (West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, northern Kentucky and eastern Indiana).
"This will be my fifth year, but it is still pretty crazy once you get to the meet," said 15-year-old Sarah Snider, who will be one of four girls swimming the 800 free relay.
Photos by Kerry Patrick
Eight girls from the Parkersburg YMCA swim team will compete at the Great Lake Zone Championship Meet beginning today at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Members from the Parkersburg team include, front row from left: Olivia Collett and Sarah Snider. Middle row: Grace Cox, Kate Snider and Tara Foster. Back row: Claire Collett, Hannah Wareheim and Jen Standley.
Seven boys from the Parkersburg YMCA swim team will compete at the Great Lake Zone Championship Meet beginning today at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Members from the Parkersburg team include, front row: David Snider. Middle row: Nathan Burd and Kinzie Bailey. Back row: Sean Snider, Preston Padden, Garrett Fink and Joe Miller.
Parkersburg is entered in eight relays, including five in the boys division. Sean Snider, Preston Padden, Nathan Burd and Garrett Fink form a team in four of those relays.
"Having 15 swimmers is significant for us because we haven't done that in a long time," said Tom Phillips, who shares coaching duties with Sarah Beckett Nicewarner. "There used to be year - maybe 20 years ago - when we would take 25 to 30 kids. The whole sport has sort of changed with so many other things going on.
"But in the past two years, numbers are up."
David Snider at 12 years of age will be the busiest of the Parkersburg swimmers in regards to competing in seven events. All four Snider siblings will make the trip, including 13-year-old Kate Snider and 17-year-old Sean Snider.
"It is really cool that all four of us can have success in the same sport," Sean Snider said. "I hope they all swim well, place pretty high and score well."
By making the national cut in his strongest event - the 200 freestyle- Sean Snider will skip portion of the meet and concentrate on the relay as well as the six individual events he qualified in at last week's state meet in Huntington.
According to Sean Snider and coach Phillips, expect fast times at the state-of-the-art facility otherwise known as the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.
"I trained there for three weeks a couple of summers ago - it's by far the nicest pool I have ever swam in," Snider said. "As far as pools go, it is the epitome of technology.
"It's deep, so you won't have the waves bouncing off the bottom to slow you down. The high walls make for really fast turns and the water temperature is regulated to tenths of a degree during meets. Everything is set up to swim as fast as possible."
The following is a complete breakdown of events involving Parkersburg swimmers (age in parentheses):
Grace Cox (11): 100 breast, 100 IM, 50 free, 200 IM, 50 breast
Olivia Collett (12): 100 breast, 200 IM
Kate Snider (13): 500 free, 200 free, 100 back, 800 free relay, 200 medley relay
Sarah Snider (15): 800 free relay
Claire Collett (17): 800 free relay, 200 free relay, 200 medley relay
Jen Standley (17): 800 free relay, 200 free relay, 200 medley relay
Hannah Wareheim (17): 200 free relay, 200 medley relay
Tara Foster (17): 200 free relay
David Snider (12): 500 free, 200 free, 50 back, 50 free, 100 free, 50 fly, 100 back
Nathan Burd (15): 50 free, 400 medley relay, 400 free relay, 200 free relay, 200 medley relay
Garrett Fink (15): 500 free, 100 fly, 200 fly, 50 free, 800 free relay, 400 medley relay, 400 free relay, 200 free relay, 200 medley relay
Kinzie Bailey (16): 1000 free
Preston Padden (16): 100 fly, 100 free, 200 free, 50 free, 800 free relay, 400 medley relay, 400 free relay, 200 free relay, 200 medley relay
Sean Snider (17): 500 free, 100 fly, 100 free, 100 breast, 200 fly, 50 free, 400 medley relay, 400 free relay, 800 free relay, 200 free relay, 200 medley relay
Joe Miller (17): 800 free relay