VAST takes 23 first place finishes in season swim opener

Members of the Vermillion Area Swim Team made a big splash at the Siouxland Sharks’ Fall 2013 Tri-State Swim Meet, held last weekend in Sioux City, IA.

Twenty-two members of the team attended the event, bringing home 23 first-place finishes, as well as setting many individual best times for various events.

“All of our swimmers did very well,” said VAST Head Coach Mike Moran. “It’s exciting to see how well our swimmers did at this very early meet in the season. Everyone is excited for the rest of the year because the kids are already performing very well.”

At the meet, about a dozen VAST swimmers met or exceeded the qualifying times to attend the Tri-State Championship Meet next March in one or several events. Several swimmers also met the even more rigorous qualifying times to attend the South Dakota State Swim Meet next spring.

Seventeen-year-old Jacob Krier set a new personal best time of 22.72 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle event, earning him an automatic qualification to attend the elite Speedo Sectional Championships in Wisconsin next March. Meanwhile, his time for the 100 free (50.10 seconds) is good for a bonus qualification to the meet as well. Both times lowered his current team records in the event. Krier is now qualified to the meet in three events, which includes the 200 freestyle that he qualified in during the summer.

Other great swims were turned in all day. Eight-year-old Laura Gruhn made a splash in her first ever swim meet, earning a sixth place finish in the girls eight and under 25-yard backstroke. The time was also good enough to earn a spot at the Tri State Championships.

Ten-year-old Sadie Pederson dropped significant time during the meet as well. In her first short course season, Pederson turned heads in the audience when she dropped over 10 seconds in the 50 yard freestyle, taking fourth place in the event with a new personal best of 35.77. She also grabbed second place in the girls’ 9-10 50-yard backstroke with a time of 46.62.

VAST first place finishers at the Siouxland meet included:

Rebekah Sharples-Schmidt, 6, in the 100-yard freestyle event; Anna Van Holland, 12, in the 100-yard backstroke; Lexie Malimanek, 14, in the 200-yard freestyle, 200-yard breaststroke, and 400-yard Individual Medley; Anna Hackemer, 15, in the 200-yard Individual Medley; 10-year-old Kaleb Mollman, in the 200-yard freestyle, 500-yard freestyle, and 100-yard backstroke; Nic Harris, 11, in the 100-yard backstroke, and Krier in the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle, and 200-yard freestyle.

Two VAST swimmers – Madisen Martinez, 14, and newcomer Jay Paulson, 11 – took first-place in every race they swam in. Martinez captured first in the 50-yard freestyle, 100 freestyle, 100 backstroke, 100 breaststroke, and the 100 butterfly. Paulson took first in the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle; 200-yard freestyle; 50-yard backstroke, and 100-yard Individual Medley.

Next up for VAST swimmers is a meet in Norfolk, NE, on Nov. 2. Nineteen swimmers will make the trip south to the annual meet at the Norfolk YMCA.

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