By Kennedy Cutler
Rockford Riptide swim team has competed in several meets over the last few weekends to kick off it’s summer long-course season.
32 athletes traveled down to South Bend, Indiana, for the Irish Aquatics May Invitational, May 11-13. The team as a whole came out of the away meet with a number of personal best times, state qualifying times, and even a few zone cuts for the end of summer meet competing against several states across the central and midwest region of the country.
Highlights from the meet include Jaime Forbes, Addison Forbes, Danika Fessenden, Alex Richardson, and Matthew Weber tackling the 1500 meter (mile) swim for the first time for the summer season. All went at or near to best times.
Liam Smith went solo to travel to Cincinnati, Ohio, to compete in the Cincinnati Para Swimming Open. Smith participated in eight total events over the course of the weekend. Included in his roster of events were two American Record setting times for the S6 classification, in the 800 meter and 1500 meter (mile) freestyle events. His 800 meter split in the 1500 meter race was a 12:41.59, beating the old record for that distance which was a 13:05.53, set last July. His 1500 meter overall time, a 23:48.81 beat the previous record by over two minutes, as well as out-swimming the current S6 World Record of 25:20.22. Since Smith has not yet been internationally classified, the new World Record went to the other S6 swimmer who he had competed against.
On May 26th, the team traveled 34 athletes over to Jension for the JAWS First Chance Invitational. Several swam the 50-meter course for the first time. Swimmers from the team who competed ranged in age from 8 to 18.
The team will compete next at Holland from June 8th through 10th, and again at Jenison on June 9th.
Riptide kicks off it’s summer season with practices beginning for it’s USA Team on June 11, and for it’s Juniors team on June 19th. More information about the team can be found at Riptide.org.