The McMinnville Swim Team held its last regular season meet at Gilley Pool on Thursday night. The home team won 27 of 54 individual races.
There were many fans in attendance. As usual, there were many volunteers helping keep swimmers on track for each race and keeping accurate times of each swimmer.
It is an amazing amount of coordinated activity, and there are several coaches helping head coach Paige Northcutt coach the team and organize activities.
Swimmers who won in their respective races are:
Iva Newman, Girls 6&U, 25 Meter Free
George Myers, Boys 8&U, 25 Meter Free
Ruth Jackson, Girls 9-10, 50 Meter Free
Luke Caten, Boys 9-10, 50 Meter Free; Boys 9-10, 25 Meter Back
Raymond Morton, Boys 15&O, 50 Meter Free
Layla-Barrie Guthrie, Girls 8&U, 25 Meter Breast
George Myers, Boys 8&U, 25 Meter Breast
Ellie Sutton, Girls 9-10, 25 Meter Breast; Girls 9-10, 25 Meter Back
Hunter Cooper, Boys 9-10, 25 Meter Breast
Kelsi Caten, Girls 11-12, 50 Meter Breast
Joshua Caten, Boys 11-12, 50 Meter Breast; 50 Meter Back
Samantha Saldana, Girls 13-14, 50 Meter Breast
Robert Oaks, Boys 15&O, 50 Meter Breast
Ruth Jackson, Girls 9-10, 100 Meter IM
Robert Oaks, Boys 15&O, 100 Meter IM
Anna Lee Simpson, Girls 6&U, 25 Meter Back
Brody Chisam, Boys 8&U, 25 Meter Back; 25 Meter Fly
Emory MacDonald, Girls 11-12, 50 Meter Back
J.P. Toney, Boys 13-14, 50 Meter Back
Vincent Garrison, Boys 15&O, 50 Meter Back
Finley MacDonald, Girls 8&U, 25 Meter Fly
Lauren Rigsby, Girls 9-10, 25 Meter Fly
Rex Miller, Boys 9-10 25, Meter Fly
A McMinnville swimmer who won a difficult race was fifth-grader Ruth Jackson. After a race, Ruth said, “I just won the freestyle 50 Meters race. My dad is a swimmer. Paige is a better swimmer than him. My dad is probably the best swimmer in my family, then my grandfather. Running is not really my sport, but swimming is something I go much faster in the water.”
Ruth said she doesn’t get tired of swimming two hours a day, five days a week. She also thinks Paige Northcutt is the best coach on the team, which is a friendly jab at her dad, Matt Jackson who also coaches on the team.
Ruth Jackson also thinks she is a better swimmer than her brother, John Jackson, the heralded soccer player who recently graduated from WCHS.
Ruth Jackson also won the 100-Meter IM race in which she swam a different stroke with each 25-meter lap. The strokes were the butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and free crawl. The 100-meter IM was the longest, most challenging individual race of the day.
Seventh-grader Joshua Caten won two races in his age group, and shared some thoughts after a race. Caten said, “I have been swimming since I was 8, and I am 12 now. I felt good in the race. I usually win that race. Coach Matt (Jackson) is the best coach I have had.”
Charles Marsh is an assistant coach who focuses on the younger swimmers. Marsh shared his perspective on the MST event on Thursday.
Marsh said, “The best thing for this is good weather and smooth water. I have been doing this for maybe 60 years. Swimming keeps the kids slim and trim like me (laughs). It is the best sport because there are usually no injuries.”
Shelbyville Swim Club coach Lauren Bell said she brought 25 swimmers to the meet. Ball also said, “I am impressed with how many swimmers McMinnville has, especially the number of young swimmers. We have an indoor pool and about 40-50 swimmers. We start training in January and February with an official start in March.”
McMinnville’s team has over 100 swimmers, and there are several 8-12 year-old kids who have been swimming for four years. The young swimmers are much more competitive than the older swimmers because the younger swimmers on other teams do not train year-round as the older kids do.
The final two swim meets will be away at Tullahoma (June 22) and Fayetteville (June 24). The traditional championship meet takes place normally at Sewanee, but because of university COVID-19 protocols, the championship meet will take place in different locations July 10.