Arab’s remarkably young girls and boys swimming teams continued to show progress last Thursday at the Cullman Invitational.
The girls finished fourth out of 12 teams with just two high school age swimmers. The boys, consisting of only seventh graders, finished sixth out of 11 teams.
“Overall, I’m very proud of this team. They fought in every event and are really coming around to be the team that I envision,” said head coach Richard Moser. “It’s a hard-working, close-knit team.”
And apparently a fun-loving team, also.
“It was very fun and exciting,” team co-captain Maddie Nunley said. “The atmosphere was the best yet and I am very happy about how everyone did.”
Nunley is an eighth grader. The other captain is Elizabeth Skidmore, a ninth grader.
“Everyone did so amazing and were so supportive,” Skidmore said. “Every meet without fail, everyone on the team is on the pool deck screaming and yelling for one another and they all provide such great encouragement.
“Something to look forward to every race is seeing your team on the other side cheering you on. Our team may be small, but we have the biggest spirit and support system.”
Moser said he is especially proud of his swimmers because of the adversity they are overcoming.
“I’ve put several of them in very uncomfortable positions for the past two meets,” he said. “I had a few of them swim the 500 freestyle – that’s 20 laps or five football fields to put that into perspective.
“Also, some of them swam the 200 IM – two laps of each stroke. That event really takes its toll. I was proud how they stepped up to the challenges. “
Nunley finished first in the 100 freestyle and 100 breaststroke. Anderly Shumate finished fourth in the 100 breaststroke.
Lauren Lambert finished third in the 500 free. Bailee Parks finished fourth in the 100 butterfly.
Shumate, Parks, Lambert and Nunley finished second in the 200 free relay and also third in the 400 free replay.