Photo by Theo Tate
Summers-Port coach Nancy Miller yells out instructions to her swimmers at the Southwestern Illinois Swim Association Championships on Sunday at Summers-Port Pool.
Anna Moehn had mixed emotions after the Southwestern Illinois Swim Association Championships came to an end on a hot Sunday afternoon at Summers-Port Pool.
The 12-year-old Summers-Port swimmer was upset about the end of the swimming season.
“I’m extremely sad,” Moehn said. “I was just telling my friend Riley (Clancy) that I put her (swimming) cap on for the last time for the season.”
But Moehn (pronounced MANE) still got to walk out of Summers-Port Pool all smiles. She not only finished first place in all five of her events and earned a High Point award in the 11-12 girls’ division, she also became part of a SWISA championship team.
Moehn helped the Sharks win their 24th straight conference championship. Summers-Port won the five-team meet with 2,162.5 points.
“I just love this team so much,” Moehn said. “I love this pool, I love this team and I love my coach.”
Summers-Port coach Nancy Miller was the first person to receive the first-place trophy. She said she was thrilled her team won its 24th straight conference crown.
“The coaches who came before me did a great job and they helped build up the team,” Miller said. “I only can take credit for half of that. This is my 12th year with the team. I can take credit for half of those 24 years. So the coaches who came before me did a great job and all of that tradition of siblings coming together and families supporting us, it all pays off.”
Miller said she always looks forward to coach her team every summer.
“It’s a joy,” she said. “If you have to work, what better career can you have than working with kids? There’s nothing better.”
Summers-Port placed first in 34 events at the SWISA meet. The Sharks had five swimmers winning three individual events, including Moehn.
Thomas Wendle, who competes in the 9-10 boys’ division, said he enjoyed the SWISA meet. The day before, he helped the Summers-Port diving team win its second straight SWISA title.
“It’s pretty fun getting to see all of the teams,” the 9-year-old Wendle said.
Moehn placed first in the 100-yard freestyle, 100-yard intermediate medley and 50-yard backstroke. She also helped the freestyle and medley relay teams pick up victories.
Moehn has been one of the Sharks’ top performers in the 11-12 girls’ division all season long. Last week against Paddlers, she earned first-place finishes in the 100-yard freestyle and the 50-yard backstroke. She also had victories in the 100-yard freestyle, 100-yard intermediate medley and the 50-yard backstroke against Splash City and the 100-yard freestyle and the 50-yard butterfly against Sunset Hills.
“I made sure I was giving it my all in every practice,” Moehn said. “I made sure that I was doing doubles almost every day. I got myself pumped up every day. I tell myself, ‘I’m confident. I got this. This is my time. This is my race.’”
Moehn, who will be a seventh-grader at Saints Peter and Paul School in Alton this fall, prepared for this summer by training all year with the Tri-City Area Tidalwaves.
“Swimming to me is like breathing,” Moehn said. “It’s like an involuntary action. I just do it. I have loved swimming since I was a baby. My mom told me at 15 months that I was ready to go under the water.”
Also, Matthew Daniel won the 100-yard freestyle, the 100-yard intermediate medley and the 100-yard backstroke in the 15-18 boys’ division. Lillian Schuler placed first in the 50-yard freestyle, 25-yard backstroke and the 25-yard butterfly in the 8U girls’ division, Eleanor Schuler came out on top in the 100-yard freestyle, 100-yard intermediate medley and the 50-yard butterfly in the 9-10 girls’ division and Noah Clancy won the 100-yard freestyle, 100-yard intermediate medley and 100-yard backstroke in the 13-14 boys’ group.
Jake Roth placed first in the 200-yard freestyle and the 100-yard freestyle in the 13-14 boys’ division, Caden Akal won the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke in the 15-18 boys’ division and Stephen Stobbs won the 25-yard backstroke and the 25-yard butterfly in the 8U boys’ division.
The Sharks also got wins from Cole Akal (200-yard freestyle in 15-18 boys), Jack Rea (25-yard breaststroke in 8U boys), Victor Humphrey (50-yard breaststroke in 9-10 boys) and Riley Clancy (50-yard breaststroke in 11-12 girls). Summers-Port also won nine relay events.
Daniel said he enjoys competing with the Summers-Port swimming team every summer.
“It’s like a family because I’ve been going up here since I was 6 or 7 and I live right down the street,” he said. “So I’ve been up here every day for the past 8 or 9 years, so I’m really happy to be up here and swim for the Sharks.”
Last week, the Sharks won the SWISA regular season championship with a 4-0 record after beating the Paddlers Pirates at Summers-Port. Summers-Port began its season on June 9 with a 442-244 victory over Water Works. The Sharks also had wins over Sunset Hills (June 16), Splash City (June 23) and Paddlers (July 12).
Roth said he’s already excited about the 2017 season. The Sharks had no seniors on their team this summer.
“Next year, we’ll have a lot of seniors, but we’ll also have a lot of really good younger kids swimming,” Roth said.
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