Merrill swimmers complete event filled summer
This summer the Merrill Aqua Jays Swim Team had its largest summer team ever, topping 30 participating swimmers. The team competed at several meets around the state. Merrill started their season in June, with the Badger State Games in Weston. 15 swimmers from the club competed, bringing home 28 top three finishes and many more top six finishes. As the weather improved the Jays traveled to Fond du Lac and Eau Caire for outdoor meets in an Olympic size 50 meter pool. In July Merrill hosted 10 teams from as far as northern Michigan and the Fox Valley at the Bierman Family Aquatic Center. Coach Winter was excited about drawing in so many teams. “Our summer meet is becoming a go to destination for several teams,” said Winter. “We have a beautiful facility and people really enjoy it.”
In late July Olivia Pajtash, a 7th grader at PRMS and a 5 year team member, traveled to Pleasant Prairie for the USA Swimming Wisconsin State 12 & under meet.
“Olivia had a great summer and topped it off with a great performance at state, acheiving 4 of 6 races a personel best swims.” Winter noted.
Pajtash finished 15th and earned a ribbon in the 400 meter freestyle. She also swam the 50 meter free taking 55th place, the 200 meter free earning 26th place, the 50 meter breast taking 32nd place, the 100 meter fly, placing 39 and the 100 meter breast finishing 26th place.
Ending out the summer season on August 1-3, Amber Winter qualified to represent Team Wisconsin at the USA Central Zones Championship Swim Meet, also held in Pleasant Prairie WI. The Central Zone meet had the top 14 & under swimmers from Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Lake Eirie and the Ozarks, with close to 800 swimmers participating. Swimmers needed to qualify by earning specific time standards in each event, Winter qualified in 3 events including:
100 meter breast- 34th place
50 meter free- 66th place
50 meter breast- 18th place
Winter was also selected to swim on 3 relays for team Wisconsin including:
400 meter free relay- 10th place
200 meter medley relay- 9th place
400 medley relay- 12th place