Stamm invitational off to good start

Published 12:20 am Saturday, June 4, 2016

The smell of chlorine and cloudy skies decorated the scene during the first day of the Stamm Family Invitation at the Vicksburg City Pool Friday.

Vicksburg Swim Association represented 27 first, second or third place awards at the invitational with the younger swimmers in 22 of those events. VSA also took home five first place events.

“We had some really good swims all around the board from our younger guys even all the way up to these older guys,” VSA coach Mathew Mixon said. “We had a couple of different swimmers that won some events and lots of fast swims across the board. It’s an exciting day.”

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Frances Ferrell took first in the girls 6-and-under 25-yard backstroke at 29.65 seconds; Tulio Figarola in the boys 7- 8-years-old 25-yard fly with a time of 20.46; and Jose Eslinger in the boys 6-and-under 25-yard freestyle at 26.41.

Eslinger received a High Point award in the boys 6-and-under group, which is given to the swimmer scoring the most points in a given age group at a swim meet.

Katie Farthing, Kara Rowe, Katelyn Clark and Bree Butler comprised the girls 10-and-under 100-yard relay team that took first with a time of 1:14.34. With a time of 19:36.92, Tommy Martin rounded out the gold medal victories in the boys 14-and-under 1500-meter long course freestyle.

Friday’s portion of the invitation was split into two sessions. Short course events – 100 yards or less – were swum in the early portion of the day. After an intermission, swimming resumed around 4:15 p.m. with the longer course events 400-yards and greater.

“The older kids kind of dread this distance event,” Mixon said of swimming a mile. “Most heats are 20 to 30 minutes each and most of them are in the 20 to 30 minute range. It’s a grueling race. I told them it’s just like this ‘We’re chopping wood and carrying water.’ Today’s a workday for us. We don’t get to swim the mile at any other meets. So this is a full-speed workout.”

As Mixon watched his team on the first day, he enjoyed watching the younger swimmers, as their love for swimming isn’t bogged down with statistics such as seeding time bringing them to the base of the game.

“The little kids just have that smile,” Mixon said. “When they jump in and they’re swimming sometimes they’re grinning from ear to ear. It doesn’t matter how they’re doing. They could be in dead last and still be grinning for ear to ear. That’s what excites you the most.”