Swim Meet Kicks Off 2019 Season

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More than 70 medals were awarded on Saturday afternoon, April 6 as the Vermont Senior Games staged its annual swimming event at the Edge pool in Williston.

Held in conjunction with the “Swim Like a Fool” masters meet, competitors ranging in age from 19 to 91 shared the pool Saturday. The biggest cheers went out for the eldest swimmer, Jean Archibald, as she earned gold medals in freestyle and breaststroke, but there was plenty of spirit and camaraderie to go around throughout the 15 events.

Five senior swimmers swept their events to take home five gold medals apiece. Four of them were women: LeeAnn Banks of Jericho; Richmond’s Sarah Bombardier; Deb Fennell from Rutland; and Sue Tendy, who made the trip from Cornwall, NY. On the men’s side, Ralph Swiger, all the way from Leesburg, Virginia, also captured five golds.

Three other swimmers paddled their way to four gold medals. Burlington’s Pat Quinlan was joined by John Radimer from Charlotte and Westford athlete John Doty in pulling off the four-peat.

For some VSG athletes, Saturday’s swimming served as a tune-up for the national championships in Albuquerque in late June. One such athlete, LeeAnn Banks, explained, “this is my first real meet since last year, except for the Kingdom Swim [which is an open-water distance event on Lake Memphremagog].”

Banks elaborated that she was particularly pleased with her performance in the 50- and 100-yard backstroke. “Those are my signature events,” she stated, and her best hope to do well at nationals.

However, Banks admitted that she has another reason to be excited about going to Albuquerque. “My 89-year old father, Roger Brislawn from Ohio, is going to be competing too! I got him into it. I went to nationals in 2015 in Minnesota, and he came to watch. That inspired him to qualify!”

VSG wishes Banks, her father, and all the other competitors best of luck at nationals, and with their training in preparation for the event. In addition, VSG would like to thank the Edge for partnering with us to host such a wonderful event. Edge coach and meet director Emily Mitchell was super-organized and kept the pace of events moving along nicely. Thanks too to VSG sports coordinator Betsy Terry for facilitating our involvement, and finally a big shout-out to student volunteer Ally Cady for her terrific photos.

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