Swimmers looking to qualify to end-of-the-year meets had their chance this past weekend in Sioux Center, IA.
Their last chance.
The Vermillion Area Swim Team sent a large number of swimmers to Sioux Center for the Tri-State Last Chance meet. The meet helps all swimmers try to qualify in more events to the South Dakota State meet as well as the Tri-State League Championships. Both meets will take place in the next few weeks.
Leading the way once again was 11-year-old Maddie Lavin. Lavin swam to victories in all five of her individual events in Sioux Center. In her first event, she narrowly missed the South Dakota state record in the 200-yard butterfly. She touched the wall 1.5 seconds slower than the state record, which has been held since January of 2001.
The only other VAST swimmer to sweep all of his individual events was 8-year-old Gabe Telleria. He kept his great season going by winning the 25-yard butterfly, 50-yard breaststroke, 100-yard individual medley, 25-yard backstroke and the 25-yard freestyle.
Ten-year-old Anna Van Holland turned in a great meet as well. The second-year swimmer placed first in four out of five events in the day. She finished fifth in the only event she didn't win – the 50-yard butterfly.
Other great performances were turned in by numerous VAST swimmers. Seven year old Tally Allison won three out of five events, including the 100-yard freestyle event, in which she dropped more than five seconds from her personal best. Annika Holdhusen, a first year swimmer, dropped a whopping 20 seconds in the 100-yard individual medley. Holdhusen, 9, also placed as high as fourth in the 100-yard freestyle.
Charlie Ward, 8, continued to add events to his state meet agenda. Ward swam his first ever 25-yard butterfly and 100-yard individual medley, qualifying in both events.
Lexie Malimanek dropped over 14 seconds in the 500-yard freestyle at the end of the meet. She touched the wall with an impressive time of 5:51.18. For her efforts, she is now ranked first in South Dakota in this event.
VAST swimmers will continue to practice intensely at the DakotaDome for the next few weeks. Many swimmers will have one more chance to improve their times before the state meet at two different events next weekend. Some swimmers will be competing in the Tri-State League Championships, held in Sioux City, next Saturday. VAST has 24 swimmers qualified to the event.
The rest of the team will attend the South Dakota BC Championship in Sioux Falls. Swimmers who finish first or second in their age group will automatically qualify to the State Championships the following weekend in Rapid City.