Swim clubs clash on Sunday

Called to set are the next heat of athletes for another race during Sunday’s club meet.

A total of 111 athletes raced this past Sunday at the club swim meet hosted by the Hood River Valley Swim Team at the Hood River Aquatic Center. Three clubs — The Dalles Swim Team, Vancouver Swim Club and Hood River — came together for a fierce but fun day of competition, with kids of all ages partaking in the array of races ranging from 25 to 1,650 meters.

The meet was crowded but efficiently ran, with heats sounding off one after another to ensure everyone was able to race, and in many cases rest before racing again. Several swimmers from Hood River’s high school team were participating as members of the club team, and the meet was an opportunity for all participants to race for qualifying times for championship meets occurring later this year.

Founded in 1949, today’s Hood River Valley Swim Team has more than 50 athletes from all over the Gorge community, including Skamania, White Salmon, Goldendale, Hood River and the upper valley. They are coached by Shelly Rawding, an award-winning swim coach with more than 28 years of experience who doubles as the Hood River Valley High School coach, as well as MJ Caswell, a former collegiate swimmer who has been with the club since 2006.

There were several standout swimmers at the Sunday meet, including Sarah Arpag, Amy Elliot, Michelle Graves and Delaney Hackett who won all four of their races — the maximum entry limit. Many others took home first place finishes or recorded personal best times, making the meet a success for all clubs involved.

Anyone interested in learning more about the Hood River Valley Swim Team can visit its website to find membership details and an updated calendar of events.

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