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EDWARDSVILLE – Summers Port Swim Club’s Sharks of Godfrey is one of the major powers of the Southwestern Illinois Swimming Association league year-in and year-out, and the 2019 season will be one of the Sharks’ best year, as the team has a great mix of youth, experience and depth that will come to great use this summer.
“Well, so far, so good,” Summers Port head coach Nancy Miller said in an interview during the Sharks’ season opening meet at Montclaire Swim Club (formerly known as Water Works Swim Club) Thursday evening in Edwardsville, a 463-232 loss to the Marlins. “We have a very strong team this year; we added about 20 more swimmers over last year, so I’m very happy about that. We have a lot of depth in a lot of age groups. We have a lot of newbies, but a lot of depth as well, so I’m very pleased about how things are going.”
Miller is looking to Noah Clancy, Caden Akal, Anna Moehn, Christian Kotzamanis, Ava Kotzamanis and Claire Paule as her top swimmers in the season ahead. Clancy and Akal will bring the experience of having swam in the IHSA state meet in suburban Chicago this past February, and Miller feels it will be a tremendous plus for her team.
“Oh, absolutely,” Miller said. “It really helps them to become seasoned veterans by that intense competition with the nerves and all the anticipation and all the yelling, and that venue’s amazing. But it really is very, very helpful to them to become more seasoned and more capable of swimming well.”
Clancy started his summer season off well by winning three events in the 15-18 age group – the 100-yard individual medley, 100-yard backstroke and 100-yard breaststroke, while Erick Humphrey also won three events in the 9-10 group – the 100-yard freestyle, 100-yard individual medley and 50-yard butterfly. Nathan Kotzamanis was the third triple winner for Summers Port, taking the 11-12-year-old races in the 100-yard freestyle, 50-yard butterfly, and 50-yard backstroke. The boys teams also won a pair of races; the 11-12 200-yard freestyle relay and the 11-12 200-yard medley relay. Single race winners were Patrick Moehn, Stephen Stobbs, Nick Werts, Christian Monroe, Jack Rea and Joey Schwank.
On the girls side, Moehn was the only double winner on the evening, taking the 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke. Paule won the 13-14 100-yard backstroke, while the girls won two relay races, the 8-and-under 100-yard freestyle relay and the 8-and-under 100-yard medley relay. Other individual winners for Summers Port were Riley Clarken, Cece Ress. Kaelyn Page and Kingston Selito-Brehmin.
Miller is anticipating another great season in the league, where all the teams will provide good competition.
“Well, it’s going to be competitive, that’s all I can say,” Miller said with a smile. “Every team is strong, so it’s going to be good competition.”
And as always, the goals for the Sharks are very simple.
“That everybody learns as much as they can, Miller said, “that everyone gets as much out of the team as they can, and everybody has fun.”
And also to keep improving as the season progresses.
“Absolutely,” Miller said. “I want everyone’s perfect effort at all times. Perfect effort is most important to me. I’m thrilled, and I’m having a lot of fun.”