LIMA — Most kids spend their Christmas vacations playing with their new Xbox games or trying on the new outfit that their grandmother bought. That is not the case for area swimmers. Some 402 swimmers from 18 schools dove into the Lima Holiday Invitational on Saturday at the Lima YMCA.
Versailles won the girls side of the meet with 440 points. Ottawa-Glandorf was second (342), Shawnee finished in third (207), Minster came in fourth (196) and Celina came in fifth (182).
This was Versailles’ second year in this meet. They also won last year.
The 200 yard medley relay team of Hannah Marshal, Amber Seibert, Ashlyn Cordonnier and Lexi Fliehman won for Versailles. Those same girls also won the 400 yard freestyle relay. Abbey Marshal won the 100 yard butterfly, Fliehman won the 100 yard freestyle and Seibert won the 100 yard breaststroke.
“We have a lot of talent with our girls,” Versailles coach Penny Cromwell said. “I’ve got 24 strong swimmers (on the girls side). We started practice in November, and we have 39 total swimmers on our team. We practice at the Versailles YMCA but we only have four lanes to practice in, which makes practice a little difficult. Our girls have been swimming well and so far they’re undefeated.”
Celina won the boys side of the meet with 346.5 points. Versailles came in second (271.5), Ottawa-Glandorf came in third (262), Shawnee finished in fourth (252.5) while Van Wert came in fifth (202).
This was Celina’s first win on the boys side at the Holiday Invitational since 2002.
“I know that we have a lot of depth with a lot of freshmen coming out this year,” Celina coach Matt May said. “It’s kind of nice to win as a group. We’ve gone three weeks without a meet so we’ve been hitting it hard lately and saw a lot of big time drops.”
There were two standout performers that broke meet records.
Shawnee’s Emily Murphy set meet records in the 50 yard freestyle (50.80) and the 100 yard backstroke (1:00.44). The 50 yard freestyle record stood for 13 years.
“I just felt that this was a really good meet for us since this is our home pool and all,” Murphy said. “The 50 free has always been my favorite event so I was really focusing on that. I wanted to get a good time in it, and I was really happy with how I did.”
The 100 yard backstroke is an event that Murphy isn’t really used to.
“The 100 back was OK today,” Murphy said. “It’s always a fun event. It’s not one that I usually do but I really like it, and I was happy with my time.”
Mitchell Stover of Versailles set meet records in the 100 yard butterfly (50.80) and the 100 yard backstroke (52.00).
Stover broke Erik Risolvato’s 100 yard backstroke record and his 100 yard butterfly record while at Shawnee.
“It gives me some confidence I guess,” Stover said. “I wish I could have done better but at the same time I was pretty happy with my time. “The butterfly was pretty good because 50.80 is probably the best time that I’ve swam,” Stover said. “I thought I did really good and I am pretty happy.”