It’s only fitting that the area’s newest swim team has one of the youngest coaching staffs this season.
The Union Swim Team Squids are led by former swimmer Sarah Meiners. Kate Schroeder is also leading the team.
“Being able to give back to the team that gave me so much as a kid has been really rewarding and fun,” Meiners said. “I owe a lot to the Union Squids program. For example, if it were not for the swim team, I’m not sure I would have figured out that I had an aptitude for endurance sports, including running. If not for swimming and the Union Squids, I would have never gone out for the cross country team in high school and gotten a college scholarship. I love this program and the unique opportunity that it provides kids who live in and around Union. I just want to do my best to continue providing a fun, yet competitive atmosphere where kids of all ages can improve their swimming and perform to the best of their ability.”
Meiners, a Borgia graduate, ran in college at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Union opened its season on the road at JCC West Monday, falling 262-213.
“The first meet can seem like organized chaos especially for new swimmers and their parents,” Meiners said. “The kids really got the hang of it after their first few events, and we owe a lot of credit to the assistant coaches and older swimmers, like Katie Melton and Emily Bell, for their help with that.”
While it was the first competitive meet, Union was able to set the mark high for future contests.
“We had a lot of swimmers achieve personal bests at this meet, which is a fantastic start to the season,” Meiners said. “However, the most important thing for us was that we saw every swimmer on the team having fun getting the opportunity to compete.”
Union’s individual medley winners were Raegan Rice, Aidan Garlock, Emily Bell, Carter Smith and Grant Smith.
Taking second in the IM races were William Weber, Carrison Tesar, Lillian Schmieder and Andrew Haberberger.
Third-place individual medley swimmers were Aubrey Gerdel, Nicholas Haberberger, Connor Smith and Sydney Gerdel.
In the freestyle races Union swimmers scoring points for wins were Kennedy Melton, Edward Weber, Aidan Garlock, Emily Bell and Grant Smith.
Union’s breaststroke winners were Edward Weber, Lillian Schmieder and Rilyn Tesar.
In the freestyle relays, Union’s winning teams were:
• Boys 6-Under — Edward Weber, Walt Bobo, Blake Turner and Roan Callahan;
• Boys 11-12 — Connor Smith, Lucas Hoekel, Jonathan Martin and Aidan Garlock; and
• Boys 13-14 — Gabriel Hoekel, Andrew Haberberger, Mason Rossi and Carter Smith.
Moving to the backstroke, Union’s scoring winners were Edward Weber, Jonathan Martin, Gabriel Hoekel and Jacob Laroe.
In the butterfly event, Union’s winners were Aidan Garlock, Emily Bell and Grant Smith.
Medley relay races ended the meet. Union’s winning teams were:
• Boys 11-12 — Lucas Hoekel, Connor Smith, Aidan Garlock and Jonathan Martin;
• Girls 13-14 — Emily Struebbe, Lillian Schmieder, Emily Bell and Emma Adams; and
• Boys 13-14 — Gabriel Hoekel, Carter Smith, Andrew Haberberger and Mason Rossi.
The Squids are back on the road Monday at Fox Creek starting at 6 p.m.