VERMILLION – This year, swimmers with the Vermillion Area Swim Team are setting records and enjoying great achievements as the season progresses.
Last weekend, the team took second place at the Snowfox Winter Classic Meet in Sioux Falls, bringing home 18 first places in various events during the three-day meet. In an extremely exciting race, Vermillion’s Maddie Lavin, age 12 , won the 200-yard Butterfly, lowering her state record in that event by 1.35 seconds. When high point awards were announced in each age group at the end of the meet, VAST’s Maddie Lavin, Lexie Malimanek, and Madisen Martinez were all tied for top honors, making them the 14 and Under High Point Co-Champions for the meet.
First place winners at the Snowfox meet included: 14 and Under Division – Lexie Malimanek in the 1000 Freestyle; Madisen Martinez in the 200 Freestyle, 100 Freestyle, 100 Breast, and 50 Freestyle; and Maddie Lavin in the 500 Freestyle, 200 IM, and 200 Butterfly.
In the 9-10 age division, Annika Holdhusen took first place in the 100 Backstroke, 100 IM, and 50 Backstroke. Megan Muriuki took the first place slot in the 50 Freestyle and Hunter Lavin beat out competitors for top honors in the 200 Freestyle and the 100 Breaststroke.
In the 6 and Under age division, VAST top winners included Kristy Muriuki in the 25 Breaststroke and 25 Freestyle event, Rebekah Sharples-Schmidt in the 100 Freestyle, and Andrew Sharples-Schmidt in the 100 Freestyle.
The Snowfox Winter Classic Meet draws some of the area’s fastest swimmers and is a highly competitive meet, according to VAST Head Coach Mike Moran. He is extremely pleased with the performances of the 18 VAST swimmers who attended the meet.
“The entire weekend was a lot fun,” he said. “It was great to see all of our kids improve throughout the three day meet. Some kids took big steps in the right direction this weekend and have set themselves up well for the end of the year. To finish in second place overall at this meet says a lot about the quality of swimmers we have in Vermillion.”
In other VAST achievements, Maddie Lavin currently holds top spots as the fastest swimmer in the State of South Dakota in the 11-12 age group in eight events. Another rising VAST star is Vermillion High School sophomore Jacob Krier, who as of last week, was ranked as one of the fastest swimmers in the state of South Dakota in the 15-16 year-old age group. He is ranked in the top 10 in eight events, and in the top three in the 50, 100 and 200- yard freestyle events.
Krier is making a new mark in VAST history this spring. Krier is one of only three male swimmers in VAST history to make the qualifying time to compete in the USA Swimming Speedo Champions Series Meet, which will take place in March in Wisconsin. Krier qualified to compete in the men’s 50-yard freestyle with a time of 22.75 seconds. He remains very close to also making the qualifying time for the 100- and 200-yard freestyle events and the 100-yard backstroke.
It’s a great achievement, said Moran.
“It is very difficult to get into sectionals,” said Moran. “There have only been two other male swimmers from VAST that I know of that made it to this meet in the last 25 years so it’s quite difficult and rare for us.”
At the Sectionals meet, Krier will compete against the fastest swimmers from Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
“The competition at Sectionals is always very fast,” said Moran. “Most of the best swimmers in the region attend the meet. In order to get into the final heats after preliminaries, he will have to swim as fast as some of the best collegiate swimmers around. Even some college swimmers have been known to enter the meet.”
The VAST swim season will be wrapping up in the next month. Sixteen VAST swimmers have qualified for state and are expected to compete at the State swim meet this year, to be held March 1 – 3 in Aberdeen. A week later will be the Speedo Sectionals in Wisconsin, followed by Midwest Regional competition toward the end of March.
“The season is going by fast and all of our swimmers are showing great improvement,” said Moran. “The coaching staff is very excited for the end of the year meets coming up in the next two months as the team looks to finish the season better than we ever have.”