Vicksburg Swim Association wins seven events at Stamm Family Invitational

Published 8:25 am Saturday, June 2, 2018

Grace Woolsey spent the day gliding smoothly through the water, but made the biggest splash of any Vicksburg Swim Association competitor Friday at the Stamm Family Invitational.

The 9-year-old Vicksburg resident won four events — the 100-yard individual medley, and 50-yard butterfly, backstroke and freestyle — to tie two other swimmers for the girls’ high point trophy in the short course meet at City Pool.

Woolsey won the 9-10-year-olds’ IM in 1 minute, 31.91 seconds. She took the 50 butterfly in 42.22 seconds, the 50 backstroke in 42.57 seconds, and the freestyle event in 35.52 seconds. She scored 45 points to tie the Mississippi Makos’ Ellie Rushing (7-8-year-olds) and Sunkist Swimming’s Avery Alexander (11-12-year-olds) for the high point award.

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Michael Robinson of the Makos won the boys’ high point award by taking gold in the 11-12-year-olds’ boys’ 100 IM, 50 backstroke, 50 butterfly and 50 freestyle.

“Great meet for her. A lot of kids had great meets, but she had a really good one,” VSA coach Mathew Mixon said. “She’s been practicing really hard. She made the state meet last year, and she’s got some goals of making the sectional cut so she’s really pushing to get to that next level. She’s one of those kids that has her goal time on her mirror in her bedroom. She knows what she wants and is working hard to get it.”

Friday’s 25-yard short course meet for swimmers 12-and-under marked the start of the annual three-day event at City Pool. Immediately afterward the lane lines were flipped to set up the long course meet — where each lap is 50 yards — that will carry through the rest of the weekend. The long course meet will include older swimmers up to 19 years old, as well as younger age groups.

Events start at 9 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday. City Pool will be closed to the public for swimming both days, although admission to the meet is free for fans.

“It’s two separate meets. The short course meet, we don’t keep team scores. We just do high points for the kids and the medals. We’ll reset the scoreboard to zero for the team scores and start tonight,” Mixon said. “The team competition is more throughout the weekend, where the little kids are more about the individual and letting them have a little glory for their hard work.”

Woolsey reeled in the most gold medals for the VSA, but some other swimmers got their share as well.

Tulio Figarola won the 9-10-year-olds’ boys 100-yard IM with a time of 1:17.79, which was 18 seconds faster than runner-up Clark Davis of the Mississippi Makos. Figarola also finished second in the 50 butterfly and 50 backstroke.

“It was about a lap,” Mixon said of the margin of victory in the IM. “At his age, his 100 IM time is about the same time as some kids’ 100 freestyle time.”

The Killer Whales won two relays as well.

The 11-12-year-olds’ boys’ 100-yard medley relay team of Jon Daniel Busby, Austin Norwood, Tony Fields and Beau Harris won with a time of 1:00.65.

The 11-12-year-olds’ girls’ 100-yard medley relay team of Anna Norwood, Frances Ferrell, Hendrix Eldridge and Sophia Figarola also won, with a time of 1:02.19.

“It was a great day for us. Lots of fast swimming, a lot of people made it through some first races, so that’s good,” Mixon said. “We had some kids that made it through some events they had been getting disqualified in and they made it through legally. With our younger ones that’s our goal is fundamentals. So it was exciting.”

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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