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Swim Team competes for championship
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McMinnville Swim Team members posing for a photo are, from left, Luke Winkler, Ayden Rogers, Easton West, Raymond Morton, Briley Green, parent Kelly Slaughter, Graham Edens and Robert Oaks.

McMinnville Swim Team members are waiting for final results to be announced after competing in their league championship swim meet over the weekend in Shelbyville.

Due to COVID social distancing guidelines, swim meets related to the championship were held at three different sites – Shelbyville, Manchester and Athens, Ala. In addition, Sewanee’s swim team swam virtually on its own.

Combining all the scores from the different locations to declare league winners is expected to be complete sometime this week. The league is composed of 10 teams.

“I think our swimmers did very well and grew a lot both mentally and physical,” said coach Paige Northcutt. “Since we had to take a year off, it was two years since we had been in the water when we started this year. The returning swimmers were all glad to get back in the water. The kids did very well in dropping their times.”

McMinnville took 121 swimmers to the championship meet.

A number of local swimmers have excelled in the water throughout the season. Those swimmers include:

Ruth Jackson, 10

Finley MacDonald, 8

Layla-Barrie Guthrie, 8

Graham Edens, 15

J.P. Toney, 14

Vincent Garrison, 15

London Caten, 14

Samantha Saldana, 13

Luke Caten, 9

Ellie Sutton, 10

Robert Oaks, 18

Raymond Morton, 16

George Myers, 8

Walker Slaughter, 6

AnnaLee Simpson, 6

Iva Newman, 6

Joshua Caten, 12

Noah Greer, 12

“Iva Newman is a new swimmer who absolutely loved it once she got going,” said Northcutt. “Graham Edens came into his own as the season progressed and Samantha Saldona really turned it on at the end.”

With people often turning to walking, running, or biking as ways to lose weight and achieve better fitness, Northcutt pointed out swimming is a low-impact option.

“Swimming is a great way to improve your conditioning,” said Northcutt. “Freddy Hoover and Bobby Kirby are two well-known runners, they run marathons, and they say nothing improves your cardio like getting in the pool. Swimming is great for all age groups because it’s a non-weight-bearing exercise that works the entire body at one time.”

Since McMinnville doesn’t have an indoor pool, the swim team is done until next April. Northcutt says anyone interested at that time is encouraged to try out for the swim team. However, there is one stipulation.

“You have to know how to swim to be a member of the swim team,” she said. “It’s not like soccer where everyone can get out there, run around, and kick a ball. You have to know how to swim in order to participate.”