by LINDSAY PATTON-CARSON
The USA swim team sent 17 of its members to the meet, a result of hard work paid off during the summer. The swimmers include Jacob Fase, 13, Sara Fredricks, 12, Rachel Gamm, 8, Andrew Haid, 12, Daniel Haid, 14, Christina Hanssen, 12, Kennzie Hartmann, 11, Benjamin Hoffmeister, 14, Timmer Hoffmeister, 14, Delayni Kornak-Kotarba, 14, Marissa Marion, 14, Sydney McDowell, 12, Dakota Noble, 14, Peyton Rayburn, 11, Hannah Raymond, 13, Megan Schremp, 14 and Meegan Snyman, 11.
Four Riptide swimmers also represented the club at the 15-and-over state meet held at Jenison High School. Kennedy Cutler, Hannah Loesch, Derek Mead and Sam Tinsley have provided leadership in practices and at meets, and have inspired the younger swimmers to excel as well.
At EMU, Riptide boasted Gamm, the youngest swimmer at the state meet this year at eight years old. She competed in the 10-and-under 50 freestyle race, and the 10-and-under 100 freestyle race, where she dropped .65 seconds.
“Watching eight-year-old Rachel Gamm in her first state championship meet was a lot of fun,” said Head Coach Michael Cutler. “Not many eight-year-olds make it to that meet and have to compete in the 10-and-under age group.”
Riptide had a first-place swimming in McDowell, who won top honors in the female 11-12 100 breaststroke. She also placed third in the female 11-12 50 breaststroke.
Fredricks competed in nine events, where she shaved off time in every race, including 2.86 seconds in the female 11-12 100 freestyle, placing third, and 6.19 seconds in the female 11-12 200 freestyle, placing fourth.
Fourteen-year-old Daniel Haid competed in eight events, as did 14-year-old Timmer Hoffmeister. Haid placed ninth and cut 5.33 seconds off in the 13-14 male 200 backstroke, while Hoffmeister placed 10th and took 3.38 seconds off his time in the male 13-14 100 butterfly.
Hartmannn also swam strong, competing in 10 events and dropping time in all but two. She cracked the top 10 in two events, with her highest placement being sixth in the female 11-12 100 freestyle.
The team is currently on its August break as swimmers get ready for the fall and winter sessions.
“I can’t wait to see what the kids do during the fall and winter short-course season,” Cutler said. “As this group of swimmers continues to develop, they will continue to do amazing things in the pool.”
Rockford Riptide is a USA Swimming sanctioned competitive swim club based in Rockford, and is open to all communities. The club also provides a pre-competitive group (Jr. Riptide) for swimmers interested in exploring competitive swimming for the first time. The Riptide fall session begins on August 29, and Jr. Riptide starts on September 7. More information is available at www.riptide.org.
Rockford Riptide’s mission statement is “to introduce children to the benefits of competitive swimming and encourage our swimmers to reach their highest level of potential in and out of the water, while demonstrating leadership and sportsmanship skills.”