GODFREY – Thursday's opening night for the Southwestern Illinois Swimming Association's 2016 season was certainly a record-breaking one for SummersPort's Sharks and the Edwardsville-based Waterworks Marlins.
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A total of 23 marks fell on the night, 18 belonging to the Sharks while five records from the Marlins were topped as SummersPort took the win in both meets. The Shark boys defeated the Marlins 249-90, while the SummersPort girls got past Waterworks 193-154.
“We've only been able to practice for a little over a week and the kids were very inspired tonight,” said Shark coach Nancy Miller. “Waterworks is an outstanding team, so for us to step it up and perform like we did, winning quite a few relays, breaking records, having good times; I'm very pleased and very proud.”
Taking on a good Marlin side was a good test to open the season with, Miller felt. “I'm hopeful that, with five weeks of training, we'll have even better times as we approach (the league meet in July, which SummersPort will host July 17).”
The Marlins' Elizabeth McPherson – who also made her debut as the team's coach – was also pleased with her team's performance. “I thought so (that the Marlins swam well), especially with how the kids swam,” McPherson said. “I didn't know much because I'm having to practice (McPherson is also swimming while serving as the Marlins' coach), they have other sports, they have vacations; we've only been practicing about a week and a half, so I put them in events that I thought they would be good at and it turned out really well.
“Everyone had really fast swims, their technique was really great and I liked how they performed against a really tough team. I thought they did really well; every single person did something great or won their races.”
The boys multiple winners for the Sharks included Jake Roth, Matthew Daniel, Stephen Stobbs, Ethan McLeod, Noah Clancy, Cole Akal and Joshua Krietner; girls multiple winners for the Sharks on the night included Anna Moehn, Lillian Schuler, Eleanor Schuler and Kristine Lauretzen.
On the boys side, multiple winners for the Marlins included Cohen Osborn, Jacob Grandone and Cooper Scharff; girls multiple winner for Waterworks included McPherson, Bailey Grinter, Maggie Grieve and Olivia Ramirez.
Waterworks will host Splash City of Collinsville while SummersPort travels to Sunset Hills of Edwardsville for Week 2 SWISA meets.