Stamm Family Invitational to bring swim teams to city pool

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 1, 2012

Usually, the Vicksburg Swim Association team hits the road for its meets in Tupelo, Baton Rouge, Meridian, Biloxi or Monroe, La.

This weekend, the VSA stays home to host its biggest annual meet.

The Stamm Family Invitational swim meet hits the city pool for three days of competition starting today and lasts through Sunday.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Competition starts at 5 tonight, while on Saturday and Sunday, competition starts at 9:30 a.m. on both days. Ten teams have signed up for the meet, including new teams from Starkville and Shreveport.

With the weather forecast promising sunny skies and unseasonably cool temperatures, the action should be fast and furious. Last year, temperatures in the high 90s forced the tournament officials to act radically to cool things off.

“I think it’s going to be an awesome weekend,” said meet director William Butler “Last year, it was a scorcher and 10,000 pounds of ice from Tyson we dumped in the pool helped out a lot.”

The format of the meet will be tweaked this year to keep participants fresh and times down. Before, the younger age groups swam in the morning and the older kids in the evening. Now, the events are mixed evenly to allow swimmers adequate rest time between events.

“Before, kids would swim one event and then have to swim another 15 minutes later,” said Butler. “Now, they’ll get more rest between races and be able to perform better.”

According to Vicksburg Swim Association coach Mathew Mixon, the biggest advantage besides rest is team unity. With the younger swimmers, ages 10 and under, usually swimming in the morning and the older swimmers going in the afternoon, there was little chance for one age group to cheer for the other.

“The best part of the new format is that we can come together as a team and compete as a unit,” Mixon said. “We’re really excited about that. It allows our new swimmers to see what competition is all about and allows them to watch our older swimmers, who they are trying to be.”

Another new feature will be the “Splash for Cash.” During this afternoon’s warmup session, a random lottery of eight event numbers will be selected from the event number pool. Those become “Splash” events. The team that has the highest point total in those eight events will win $500.

It was something the VSA had done before in the Stamm meet. Now it’s back.

“We used to do it a long time ago, but we just went away from it and focused on the trophies and the medals,” Butler said. “It’s a way to give back to the other organizations and allow them to put that money towards equipment.”

While teams will be coming in from all over the state, the local contingent will be the biggest one yet. The VSA has 70 swimmers on the roster.

“It’s our biggest team by far,” Mixon said. “We really want to win our home meet.”