The Waynesboro Y Swim Team (SMAC) competed in the Speedo Long Course Grand Challenge from May 23-25 in Irvine, CA. Long course meets are held in 50 meter pools as opposed to short course races that are held in 25 yard pools. The meet has a unique format in that professional, collegiate and 18 and under swimmers compete against each other. Generally in all swim meets the top 8 swimmers from the morning prelim session compete in the championship final in the evening. In the Speedo Grand Challenge only the top 4 make the championship final and a before the race starts a giant wheel is spun (think of wheel of fortune) and the winner of the event wins between $100 and $1,000 dollars. It provides extra excitement to each of the championship finals.
Congratulations to the following SMAC swimmers who qualified for meet and made the journey across the country to compete: Jessie Arnold (17), Bobby Carey (16), Alexander Flowers (15), Colleen Higgins (16), Norah Hunt (16), Elena Marsilii (20), Justin Merritt (16) and Remedy Rule (17).
The first day of the meet provided some great time drops from Carey and Flowers in the 1500 meter free, Hunt in the 400 free and Rule in the 200 IM. Flowers finished in 16th place and broke the SMAC that was previously set by Michael Mowen in 2010. Rule finished 14th in the 200 IM and broke the previous SMAC record set by Ginny Griffith in 1987. Rule also competed in the championship final of the 400 free and finished 3rd overall. The second day of the event saw large time drops from Flowers in the 200 free, Hunt in the 800 free, Marsilii in the 800 free and Merritt in the 400 IM. Hunt finished in 9th place in the 800 free and Rule placed 9th in the 100 fly. The final day of the meet saw Flowers have another best time the 100 meter free. Merritt and Carey both had nice time drops in the 200 fly with Merritt picking up his first Y National time standard. The last race of the Meet for SMAC was the championship final of the 200 fly. The four swimmer championship final was made up of Rule from SMAC and several top collegiate butterfly swimmers from Stanford, usc and UCLA. Rule was a little behind at the first 50, even at the 100 and took over the race the next 50 and held on the win. She couldn’t accept the prize money, but was given a new pair of goggles and gift card to Jomba Juice for her victory.
The development of the swimmers on a trip like this is immeasurable. These swimmers are able to see the some of the best college swimmers and gain an understanding the work required to compete at that level. They also get to see many College coaches interacting with their teams, which may help them chose a school in the near future. At the conclusion of the meet SMAC quickly headed to Huntington Beach to enjoy a few hours of well deserved fun and relaxation.
The SMAC swim team is a Waynesboro Y program and practices are held at the Waynesboro Y, Augusta Health and Ridgeview Park Pool. For more information regarding SMAC swimming contact Coach Norm Wright, Director of Competitive Swimming at the Waynesboro Y at 942-5107 or email him at [email protected]
For more information about SMAC, please visit their website: http://www.smacswimming.org/