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Rowan Aquatic Club hosts meet; Senior Games group excels in Cary

Local swimmers have big weekend

Submitted photo
Rowan Aquatic Club teammates, left to right: Maris Wainright, Riley Gleason, Amy Nguyen, Taylor Darby and Savannah Hart.

SALISBURY — The YMCA of Rowan County youth swim team, known as Rowan Aquatic Club, held its annual Phyllis Steimel YMCA invitational meet at the J.F. Hurley Family YMCA last weekend.
The event hosted teams from Burlington and Charlotte and included 70 swimmers from Rowan County (ages 5-18).
RAC swimmers raced in many different events over two days, all seeing personal victories of technical and time improvement.
North Carolina Swimming officials attended from the triad area and five Rowan parents apprenticed alongside the experts, gaining valuable experience that adds much needed technical knowledge for swimming at high school, YMCA  and USA swim meets across the county.
Outstanding swims at the senior level were seen from seniors Reilly Ploplis and Olivia Shorter, both picking up qualifying times to participate on the Rowan team at the elite Capital Classic YMCA meet in December.
Ploplis and Shorter will join teammates Meghan Krol, Rachel Gibson and Calista Erhart at the meet in Cary in December. Ava Morris also earned a spot on the Rowan YMCA regional team for the first time, and will represent Rowan County at that meet in Duncan, S.C., in 2019.
Younger swimmers earned a multitude of “first-ever experiences,” as they challenged themselves in new events and had fun on relay teams racing for RAC. The following under-12 swimmers all earned first-place finishes for Rowan: Aiden Moss (10), Zoey Waters (10), Brandon Kafitz (8), Keaton Weatherly (11), Rodney Hawkins (10), Jared McElhannon (8).
In the 13-14 age group, Kate Burton, Christopher Kafitz, Maris Wainright, Savannah Hart and Riley Gleason secured first-place finishes. Several swimmers from RAC’s new location at the J. Fred Corriher Jr. YMCA in China Grove-Landis, also represented and scored for the team.
RAC also now has a third location at the Saleeby Fisher YMCA in Rockwell. Children who love the water and want to improve their swimming are all welcome on the team (ages 4-up).
Rowan Aquatic Club YMCA caters to adult swimmers too, with a team representing Rowan in Cary at the North Carolina Senior Games championships swimming competition at the same time last weekend.
RAC founder Phyllis Steimel, was part of the team that took several wins for Rowan at that event, held at Triangle Aquatic Center.
The Salisbury women, as a team, placed fourth out of 36 teams. Swimming for the Rowan Aquatic Club Masters, under the leadership of Coach Hannah Hawkins, were Steimel, Mary Jo Agner, Robin Cohen and Frances Shepherd.
Agner swam in the 50-54 age group and captured first place in all six of her events: 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 200 butterfly, 200 individual medley, 400 IM and 500 freestyle.
Cohen, swimming in the 60-64 age group, placed first in the 100 individual medley, second in the 100 backstroke, third in the 50 breaststroke and fourth in both the 50 freestyle and 50 backstroke.
Shepherd competed in the 65-69 age group and placed first in the 100 and 200 butterfly, and the 200 individual medley. She placed second in the 50 freestyle and the 50 butterfly.
Steimel, swimming in the 80-84 year age group, captured first places in all six of her events — 50 freestyle, 50 backstroke, 50 breaststroke, 100 backstroke, 100 IM and the 200 backstroke.
Agner broke some of her already held state records for the Senior Games in several of her events. Shepherd achieved a new state record in the women’s (65-69) 200 butterfly.

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