Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Pine Valley’s Maddie Toigo swims in Girls 13-14 200 Medley Relay during the City Swim Meet at Helen P. Brown Natatorium on Sunday.
Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Pine Valley's Sebastian Lopez swims in the boys 11-12 200 medley relay during the City Swim Meet at Helen P. Brown Natatorium on Sunday. His team won the meet for the third consectuve year.
Monday, August 07, 2017 1:00 am
City Swim Meet
Deep Pine Valley wins 3rd straight title
CHRIS GOFF | The Journal Gazette
Hoisting a 3-foot-tall trophy, some five dozen swimmers and coaches from Pine Valley Country Club leapt back into the pool in unison, splashing wildly, their joyous shrieks piercing the air Sunday night at Helen P. Brown Natatorium.
For a third straight year, their team, an emerging powerhouse, won the City Swim Meet, and it wasn't even close.
“They all swam their hearts out,” Pine Valley head coach Alyssa Del Priore said. “It makes me really proud. Every year, we just go into the season thinking we're going to work harder than we did before, have more fun than we did before, and kids just really wanted it.”
Claiming both the boys and girls titles, Pine Valley cruised to the combined prize, beating second-place Autumn Ridge Swim Team by nearly 1,300 points with Blackhawk Swim Team a distant third.
“We have a ton of great kids and an awesome staff,” said 18-year-old Vanessa Venderly, who finished second in the 50-meter breaststroke with a time of 36.50 and tied for second in the 100 individual medley at 1:13.68.
Pine Valley won the 200 medley relay within the girls 13-and-14 age group with a time of 2:11.04 and the boys 200 medley relay in that same age group at 2:11.87, plus a lot more.
There were triumphs in the girls 15-and-over 200 medley relay at 2:10.70, the girls 8-and-under 25 freestyle (Shannon Roussel at 18.66) and the girls 50 freestyle in the 11-and-12 age group (Natiya Hoffman in 29.64).
Pine Valley won the girls 15-and-over 50 freestyle (Abby Johnston in 27.32) and the boys 50 freestyle in that age group with Cade Anderson lapping the field at 23.76.
Not to mention Hayden Jones' 34.88 in the ages 11 and 12 boys 50 breaststroke and Sarah Platt's 35.27 in the girls 50 breaststroke for the age 13-and-14 group.
Indeed, Pine Valley's victories and runner-up finishes were omnipresent in the 70-event finals.
“As you can tell, a lot of our age groups did really well,” Del Priore said. “High scores in all of them. I can't pinpoint one kid because they all made me so proud. I got goosebumps during all those races.”
A tradition for more than five decades, the City Swim Meet seemed to be appreciated even more with the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department no longer running it and alternative arrangements made to keep the event alive.
“Oh, my gosh, this is honestly probably the most fun event for the entire swim season,” Jake Mayhew, 19, said. “I look forward to City every single year just for this reason: so I can dress up and make a fool of myself and make all the little kids laugh.”
Mayhew's Arlington Park squad won the spirit award in a vote of participants. Arlington Park wore purple shirts that said, “AP is our rock, and this is how we roll,” and Mayhew donned a cut-up white shirt and headband, which he felt honored Guns N' Roses singer Axl Rose.
“We've always been the most obnoxious team here through the years,” Mayhew said. “This year, we really took it to another level with our theme being rock 'n' roll. It wasn't a goal to win (the spirit award). Our goal was just to be the most spirited team here. It's an awesome feeling to win it.”