Marlins start swim season strong

Hailey Knowles finished 15th in the 100-yard IM in a group of 38 girls, some who were six years her senior. Knowles only had two practices under her belt and had played six basketball games the day before. TIFFANY JEHOREK PHOTOS

By Tiffany Jehorek

Special to the Herald Times

MEEKER | The Meeker Marlins traveled to the first of the 2018 meets—the Aspen Invitational—June 9 and 10. There are seven swimmers on the Marlins team and they showed up and competed against teams that swim year round. Coach Shelly Rogers said, “The kids have worked extremely hard in the preseason, swimming 2,500-3,000 yards per practice.” Of the 48 swims, 46 were personal bests, “usually unheard of for the meet of the season,” commented Rogers. The youngest on the team, Dexter Chinn, swimming in the 7-8 year old division brought home two first place ribbons and scored points on each of his events for the team.

Dan Chinn, Dexter’s father, commented, “My kids have become more mentally tough and competitive because of swimming.” Chinn’s oldest son Tucker, who also swims for the Marlins, scored a tremendous number of points for the team, and improved times on all of his events. Addie Knowles is the only girl in the younger age group, and she finished the meet strong, scoring points for the team and improving upon all of her times.

Swimming preseason for the Marlins began in April and consisted of a session on technique to get them used to being back in the water. The work the swimmers have been putting in showed Saturday and Sunday in Aspen, evident by Joe McKay’s swim which had the largest cut in time, taking nearly 30 seconds off of his 200 freestyle.

“Not only have they have been pushing themselves physically and technically, but mentally as well,” said Rogers.

Judd Harvey, competing in the 200-yard freestyle, finished fourth overall. Harvey said Coach Shelly Rogers has been pushing them harder then ever before and it’s “awesome.”

Judd Harvey was another big point scorer for the team, earning points in the majority of the races, but most importantly, and stressed by Rogers, he improved on his times for all seven events, some by as much as 15 seconds.

Kate Lockwood and Hailey Knowles are swimming in the 13 and older group, often competing against swimmers five years their senior; it’s tough mentally to compete against swimmers that are physically much stronger and more mature. Lockwood’s father, Chris, commented that “Coach Rogers pushes them to their max, and it is paying off, evident by the massive improvements in their times, and ability to compete.” The Marlins are a tough competitive group, not a single seasonal swimmer beat a Marlin last weekend. Rogers considers herself “extremely lucky to have the opportunity to coach such amazing athletes.”

The next meet for the Marlins is in Delta Tuesday June 12, and then they will travel to Craig, Saturday and Sunday, June 16 and 17.