Six members from the Parkersburg Sharks swim group will compete in subsequent week’s YMCA National Brief Course Swimming Championship in Greensboro, N.C. Pictured, from left, are Ian Sasyn, Owen Guthrie, Levi Priddy, Jacob Howe, James Hadjis and Mason Francis.
(Courtesy photo)

PARKERSBURG — As the YMCA National Brief Course Swimming Championship celebrates its 100th anniversary subsequent week in Greensboro, N.C., the Parkersburg Sharks Swim Group is placing its personal stamp on the occasion with six qualifiers on the boys side.

The total of quantity of folks producing the trip is an exceptional achievement for the Sharks. Even far more impressive is the truth they have entries in 4 relays — the 200 and 400 freestyle relays in addition to the 200 and 400 medley relays.

New to the format at nationals, the quantity of heats for the finals has been doubled for a total of 4. The fourth heat will be comprised of the eight quickest swimmers age 15 and younger who did not qualify amongst the leading 24 finalists.

“We generally take youngsters to nationals, but not this numerous,” stated Sharks coach David Adams. “And the relays, we haven’t taken any to nationals because the 1980s, so this is an wonderful year we are possessing proper now.

“At the starting of the year, we have been like perhaps this could come about with the relays. If we go and have a definitely phenomenal season, possibly. But by no indicates did we feel we could get all 4 relays certified. In November, soon after we got that initially one particular in the 200 absolutely free relay that set everybody on fire. The coaches and swimmers got excited, and we took it to a further level in practice. In February and March when we went to our championship meets, that is when we hit the other 3 relays.”

Each the Parkersburg YMCA and its satellite place in Salem will be equally represented. Parkesburg senior Ian Sasyn, Warren sophomore Mason Francis along with Levi Priddy spent a number of days the previous couple of weeks finding much better acquainted with the other half of the group who practice in Salem. Priddy is a freshman from Gallipolis who is becoming homeschooled.

The trio representing Salem are Owen Guthrie, James Hadjis and Jacob Howe. Howe is a senior who attends Robert C. Byrd, whilst Hadjis is a freshman at Bridgeport Higher College. Guthrie is a sophomore who is homeschooled and lives close to Elkins.

“It was very exciting going up to Salem simply because we got to bond as a group and practice as a group,” stated Sasyn, who will compete in two relays in addition to the one hundred breaststroke and 200 breaststroke. “Working with the guys in Salem tends to make you want to push tougher. If something, these practices the previous couple of weeks have enhanced our chemistry and produced it so a great deal far more enjoyable.

Aside from Guthrie, this group is experiencing the national stage for the initially time.

“I’ve been told the atmosphere is not like any other,” stated Sasyn, who placed third in the one hundred breaststroke at the West Virginia Higher College State Meet this previous winter. “There are a lot of quick swimmers and you can really feel the power in the space. It is a extremely intense atmosphere.”

Teammate Mason Francis, who competed against a senior-dominated field whilst putting second in the 50 freestyle and fourth in the one hundred freestyle at the Ohio Higher College State Meet, has a lot of events on his plate at YMCA Nationals. In addition to competing on the relays, the sophomore from Warren Higher College will test his capability in his two freestyle events and the one hundred butterfly. Francis is unsure no matter whether the timeline will let him to swim the one hundred breaststroke.

“The only other massive meet I’ve been to was the YMCA Zones final year in Mississippi,” Francis stated. “Nationals is a complete various ballgame. It is going to be wonderful. (David Adams and Salem coach Rick Johnson) know what they are speaking about. They are wonderful coaches.”

“The state meet certainly place swimming against guys older than me into viewpoint. This year I just wanted to qualify for states — it was crazy. I never ever believed that would come about this year. I was a tiny disappointed with second location in the 50 absolutely free then realized all these guys are completed now.”

Priddy requires dedication to a further level. He travels an hour and alter from his house in Gallipolis for his instruction in Parkersburg.

“I’ve been swimming for the Sharks for about four to four 1/two years — it is helped a lot and I haven’t regretted a moment because,” Priddy stated. ” As a freshman, going to nationals is a milestone. I am pleased just to be there.”

The cap provided to swimmers who qualify for nationals can imply the planet. Hadjis, who swam in the final heats in two person heats at the W.Va. Higher College State Meet, described how honored he felt when he received his national cap from coach Johnson.

“That was definitely big for me,” Hadjis stated. “When I initially began competitive swimming I saw swimmers with their national caps. I usually wanted to be that individual with that cap.”

Hadjis is slotted to swim as a member of the 200 absolutely free relay and compete in the time trials for the 50 freestyle and 200 breaststroke. He enjoyed his time shared with the members from Parkersburg who produced the trip to Salem for a number of practices.

“With most of our swimmers completed for the season, it was good possessing these guys in the pool who have been a great deal quicker and pushed you the complete practice,” Hadjis stated. “I’m quite excited about this meet. I feel it will be a massive eye-opener and a extremely very good encounter, and set me up for subsequent year.”

Regarded a rookie in the sense of a initially-year swimmer for the YMCA, Howe accepted coach Johnson’s invitation to join the group final summer season. At the West Vurginia higher college state meet, Howe placed runner-up in each the 50 freestyle and one hundred freestyle.

“When Rick initially got me in, he told me about nationals and that is what I have been functioning toward the whole time,” Howe stated. “High college states was a further stepping stone to nationals.

“I’m impressed how quick Mason and Levi are for their age. I saw how properly he did at the state meet. That was type of crazy. Even in the sprints exactly where swimmers are so close and guys with far more encounter generally win, with Mason becoming so young he is nonetheless undertaking properly. We are fortunate to have him on the relays.”

The most veteran swimmer of the group in terms of encounter at the national level is Guthrie, who competed in the 50 freestyle final year.

“Swimming with all these guys this year has been spectacular,” stated Guthrie, who is scheduled to compete in the 50 absolutely free and one hundred absolutely free, as properly as the 200 and 400 absolutely free relays. “They have pushed me.”

Speak to Kerry Patrick at

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