The Fair Acres Family Y hosted five area youth swim teams for the CatTracks 2018 Fall Invitational on October 27 and 28, with results also being entered into the YMCA Virtual Swim Meet. The five teams competed against each other, but will also be matched up against more than 10,000 swimmers for the nation-wide virtual meet.
“This is the first meet for most of them,” Coach Lyman Burr explained. “It is pretty exciting to see so many new kids competing for the first time.”
With such large teams, the pool was packed and the gym was used as a staging area for the swimmers while they waited with their families in the gym. They camped out in lawn chairs and on blankets visiting with fellow swimmers and playing games between events. Volunteers organized the children by heat and led them through the locker rooms to their event.
“We finished first in our 200-yard Medley relay with MacKenzie Polley, Aubree Santillan, and Victoria Martinez,” Madison Riley said as she waited in the gym for her next event. “I swam my best time today on the relay!” Riley’s relay competes in the 13 to 14-year-old age category.
Sunday’s most exciting race was the 11 to 12-year-old boy’s 200-yard Freestyle relay. In this race, Will Wright swam the anchor position for his relay, finishing up behind teammates Noah Blackford, Parker Hinman, and Braxton Howerton. He came from behind in the last leg of the race to pass Nevada swimmer, Kolton Evans, and finish first with a time of 2:23.56, barely edging out Nevada’s Osage Prairie Tridents relay team which finished with a time of 2:23.89. At the end of the race, Wright was surprised to find out that his team had won.
“I thought that Kolton was going to win it, but I was trying my hardest and kicked really hard. I was happy when I found out I won. I didn’t know I passed him until the end and it was over and I had won,” Wright said after the race.
CatTracks finished first with 4017.5 points. The Seymour Sharks placed second with 2542.5 points. The Osage Prairie Tridents from Nevada placed third with 1346 points. The Monett Marlins came in fourth with 299 points, and the Pat Jones Piranhas from Springfield finished fifth with 85 points.
The CatTracks team is comprised of 75 children and young adults ranging in age from five to 21. They compete in one meet a month, but occasionally will compete in two meets within a month’s time. New swimmers can join the team by contacting the YMCA. More information is available at cattracksswim.info.