VSA finishes third at Stamm meet

Published 9:33 am Monday, June 6, 2016

Parents, coaches and volunteers at the Stamm Family Invitational breathed a sigh of relief at the conclusion of the boys’ 11-12-year-olds’ 50-meter freestyle event on Sunday.

“It’s the best feeling at the end of day three when we know we’ve pulled off a successful meet,” Vicksburg Swim Association coach Mathew Mixon said.

After three days and 113 events, Sunkist Swim Team out of Flowood walked away with a combined team score of 1,423.5 points and first place. Bulldog Aquatics Club from Louisiana finished second with a combined score of 729.5.

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VSA’s 700.5 combined score was good for third place, 29.5 points ahead of Performance Elite Aquatics.

“Between second and fourth was a pretty tight battle there,” Mixon said. “We did end up top three and that was my goal, so we’re happy with that.”

All in all, Mixon said his swimmers came away with some fast times.

Jonah Juve clocked a time of 28.83 seconds in the boys’ 15-and-over 50-meter freestyle for a sixth-place finish. A pair of Sunkist teammates — Khameron Glass and Marlan McElroy — both recorded times of 26.52 seconds to tie for first.

“Jonah Juve, he was the fastest man in the pool for me in the 50-meter free. The sprint event, the 50 free, is the most exciting event in swimming to watch. It’s splash and dash, kind of like the 40-yard dash. But you get to claim being fastest man in the pool if you do that.”

Averiana Scott came in second in the girls’ 14-and-under 50-meter freestyle at 31.94 seconds, which was 1.06 seconds faster than teammate Ann Elizabeth Farthing.

“(Juve and Scott) are two swimmers who had a little breakout swims today and they’re usually not always up there at the top but today they were,” Mixon said. “Hopefully that’s a good sign of what’s to come. I’m excited about both of their swims and just all around all of our swimmers performed well.”

Leah Larson took first place in the 11-12-year-old girls 100-meter backstroke with a time of 1:28:10. Larson finished a full six seconds ahead of Mayrant Gonwa from Sunkist.

Blanton Mansfield made his state qualifying time of 53.68 in the boys’ 9-and-under 50 meter freestyle, and claimed second place.

Now that Mixon has had a chance to watch his team, he has a good training base to work with for the rest of the summer. He said swimming is all about timing and is always a race between the swimmer and the clock.

Mixon now knows the pace of his swimmers, which leads him to conduct practice accordingly.

“Between now and our state meet at the end of July, I have a little over a month and a half to make practice adjustments and really use this meet as a guideline to what we need to work on for the remainder for the season,” Mixon said. “That’s why I like having it early in the season. Gives me a good idea of what to practice on for the championship meets.”