Marion County swimmers compete locally

From left to right: Kolten Kenske, 8, Malik Nickel, 8, Blaine Nickel, Wesley Fenske, Koehn Janzen, 8, and Hudson Sibayan, 8. Some of the Hillsboro 8 and under boys show off the ribbons they won in their 100 yard medley relay. Little brothers also pose since swim meets are usually a family event. Laura Fowler Paulus/Free PressThree Marion County swim teams faced off in the Marion Tri meet held in Marion on Saturday. The three neighboring towns of Hillsboro, Marion and Peabody, enjoyed visiting with each other as the kids competed in the water.

Hillsboro came in first, Peabody came in second and Marion came in third.

The three teams have been around competing for years. The teams are made up of kids of all ages from age four up to eighteen. Meets typically consist of 80 events. The events are broken up into strokes, ages and gender.

The strokes are freestyle, butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke. There are various distances of each of those strokes as well as different relays and medleys made up of these strokes.

The age breakdown is eight and under, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14 and 15-18.

All three coaches have been involved with swim team for years. However, while Hillsboro coach Stephanie Moss and Peabody coach Rachel Winter have coached for years, this is Marion Coach Randy Carlson’s first full year as head coach.

“I was a part of the Marion Swim team for 12 years as a swimmer. I was fortunate enough to have two amazing coaches, Deanna Thierolf, and Rod Garmin. I had the privilege to learn the fundamentals and grow as a swimmer over the years with the help of these two. In my junior and senior year I helped bring home the league championships in 2009 and 2010. I loved every minute of it,” said Carlson. “Last year I started off just helping my niece practice in the evenings. The lack of coaching on the team at the time was not helping her at all. I think others started to recognize the progress she was making as well as my spirit to be supportive of her no matter what happened during a race. One day I get a call from the city rec department asking me if I would be willing to help finish out the year with the team as their coach as the program was nearing an end. It was kind of do or die time for the team of 12. I accepted with no hesitation.”

The Marion team is young, but they are building swimmers that will be able to further the team as time goes on.

Amy Gayle, 15, swimming the girls 15-18 200 yard medley relay for the Marion Swim team. The girls relay took second place adding 5 points to Marion's overall score. Laura Fowler Paulus/Free Press“I couldn’t be more proud of my team and how they are growing! We have some experience on our team, however we also have a lot of first year swimmers. All of them have been working so hard and it shows every time they perform,” said Carlson. “We are not a big team. We only have 28 swimmers, but I think we make a huge impact once its race time. We have more than doubled in size since last year and I believe that the returning 9 swimmers are more than pleased to see our team grow and have success! Overall our team has being exceeding my expectations!”

Moss also credits her team with exceeding expectations.

“Hillsboro Swim Team is flat out the best group of young people and parents that I’ve ever had the opportunity to work with. I really am just continually blown away by all of our swimmers this year! They are each others toughest competition, and yet the support and encouragement that they show each other is what really makes them shine! These young people are each leading by example, both during practices as well as at Meets, and all of this makes my job such a joy,” said Moss.

The Peabody SuperSwimmers started their 2019 season with two big wins at Herrington and at home. The SuperSwimmers consist of 66 swimmers.

“Many of the swimmers are multi-sport athletes, both swimming and playing baseball/softball,

basketball and volleyball. Parent volunteers give time and skills to make it possible for the team to impact such a large goup of kids in our small community.The past two years,

Peabody SuperSwimmers have placed a close fourth at league behind much larger towns,” said Winter.

All three teams have two more meets for the season and then finish up at their league meet which will be held in Lindsborg.

For Saturday’s individual results, check out our website.

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