The Vermillion Area Swim Team is back from the holiday hiatus and completed its first meet of the new year. Many swimmers have been working hard during the break toward making the South Dakota State meet and beyond.
Their hard work showed when VAST swimmers touched the wall first 22 different times during the day. Leading the way for VAST were Jacob Krier (boys 15-16), Lexie Malimanek and Madisen Martinez (girls 11-12), who finished first four different times on the day.
Seven-year-old Tally Allison finished in first place three times during the day in the 8-and-under division. Six-year-old Raphael Sternadori finished in first place in the 6-and-under 50-yard freestyle, his first ever first-place finish. Sternadori has been a member of the team for the last year.
Not only did VAST swim to 22 first-place finishes, but some VAST swimmers also recorded huge drops in their personal best times. Ashley Kniefl dropped just over 24 seconds in the 50-year butterfly, along with getting closer to the South Dakota state qualification time in the 50-yard freestyle. First-year swimmer Alison Brennan dropped 16.5 seconds in the 50-yard backstroke, and Tristan Meadows dropped just over 10 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle.
Anna Van Holland dropped just over 11 seconds in the 50-yard backstroke and touched the wall in second place in the girls' 9-10 age division with a time of 41.60. She also qualified to the state meet with that swim. This marked the sixth event in which she is qualified.
As of today, VAST has 16 current swimmers qualified to the South Dakota State Meet, which will be held in early March in Rapid City.
VAST continues its season this weekend in Sioux City, IA, for the annual SiouxLand Sharks Invitational. The two-day meet is a bigger one in this area, with teams from as far away as Omaha in attendance. VAST is sending 24 of its 35 swimmers to this meet.
For more information, please see the Vermillion Area Swim Team's new website: www.teamunify.com/sdvast.