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Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016

Marshall swimmers having strong summer

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Members of the Heart of America Swim Club and their supporters enjoyed their time at the Show-Me State Games: (bottom row, from left) Taileena Oja (Sedalia), Zoe Sherman (Marshall), Isaiah Acosta (Sedalia), Jacob Seelow (Marshall), Abby Acosta (Sedalia), Jeremy Acosta (Sedalia), Lauren Seelow (Marshall), (middle row) coach Mike Ballard, (top row) Makayla Swigert (Sedalia), Allison Weber (Marshall), Trustin Oja (Sedalia), Christian Oja (Sedalia) and Hannah Bruntzel (Marshall).
(Photo contributed)
The Heart of America Swim Club's competitive group has enjoyed some strong performances during the long course season this summer.

The Marshall team has competed in three USA Swimming meets since late April, the last two being the mid-sized Neutrogena Memorial Classic at Bentonville, Ark., on May 25-27 and the large Columbia Swim Club Invitational in the Hickman High School pool last weekend.

The HASC competitive team -- separate from a recreational club which is combined with Sedalia due to Mid-Missouri Conference rules -- ranges in age from 7-year-old Zoe Sherman to recent MHS grad Tyler Nichols, an Iowa recruit who became the Owls' first state champion last fall. However, they all race in open divisions.

Nichols (18 years old) won three events at the Arkansas meet -- the 50- and 100-meter freestyle and 50 butterfly -- was second four times and third one, in field which were usually between 50 and 100 entries. Michael Smith (18) finished in the top 20 seven times, including 11th out of 54 swimmers in the 50 fly.

Jesse Corkill (14) came in 10th in three races and was in the top 20 in eight outings. Daniel Akin (16) took part in 10 races, placing as high as 17th out of 66 in the 50 backstroke, and Lowell Pilliard (9) swam twice.

Among the girls, Allison Weber (12) came in third out of 56 in the 400 free -- one of four races in the top 10 -- and came in 17th or better in all nine of her events.

Makayla Swigert (10) of Sedalia wound up as high as 26th out of 113 entries in the 50 back, while Lauren Seelow (10) had her best showing with a 35th in a 50 breaststroke field of 88. Placing 38th out of 78 was the top showing for Hannah Bruntzel (12).

Nichols found steeper competition at Columbia, although in his signature event -- the 100 breast, in which he's posted all-America times -- he came in sixth out of 139 entries. He was also eighth in the 50 free, ninth in the 100 fly and 10th out of 223 in the 100 free.

Smith's highest finish was 38th out of 199 in the 50 free.

Weber came in eighth in the 95-entry 50 fly and 25th in the 400 free, while Swigert posted her best showing in the 50 back -- placing 25th out of 104 -- and was also 27th in the 50 breast and 36th in the 50 fly.

Seelow was 34th out of 92 in the 50 breast, Bruntzel placed 49th out of 104 in the 60 back and Emily Raines was in the middle of the pack in her four events -- which ranged from 195 to 272 entries.

Gold medals were routine for HASC swimmers during the Show-Me State Games of MidAmerica, held June 8-10 at Columbia. Swigert and Seelow came in 1-2 in three girls' 9-and-10-year-old division events -- the 100-yard free, 100 breast and 200 free. Swigert won all eight of her races, while Seelow was first in the 50 breast and second four times.

Weber broke the meet record while winning the 11-12 girls' 200-yard freestyle (2:02.64), took first in three more races and captured silver medals in her other four attempts. Bruntzel came away with four top-10 finishes.

Jacob Seelow was second in two boys' 8-and-under events, while three other swimmers from Marshall -- not affiliated with the HASC -- also competed. Marshall senior Kameron Godsey won four contested 15-18 girls' races and sister Regan Godsey was 10th twice in the 11-12 group.

Former Missouri Valley College football player Charles "Buddy" Mayfield swam eight times, but was the only entry in the men's 30-34 division.

While the Mid-Missouri Conference schedule for the recreational swimmers grinds on towards the championship meet at Boonville on July 14, the Heart of America competitive unit will take part in the Tsunami Summer Splash this weekend at Lee's Summit.

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