Wellington Sailfish wrap up season with two big post-season swim meets

Coaches and younger members to attend the Missouri Valley Division Championships in Wichita are from left: Head coach Anna Wylie, Owen Camblin, Derex Hay, Alara Wilson, assistant coach Bliss Baird, and assistant coach Cindy Tracy. (Click on photo for larger version).

The elder swimmers and coaches who participated in the district championship at Wichita Swim Club are from left: (front) Aurora Young, Jensen Lynnes; (back) head coach Anna Wylie, Quinn McCue, Chance Hamel, Hunter Bryant, Aidan Young, Colin Green, Derick Kotchavar, assistant coach Cindy Tracy and assistant coach Bliss Baird. (Click on photo for larger version). 

by Bliss Baird, Special to Sumner Newscow — After a successful season in the Great Plains Swim League, some Wellington swimmers advanced to one or two weekends of postseason competition. The first weekend, Districts, consisted of qualified swimmers from half of the Missouri Valley region, while the second weekend, Championships, boasted qualified swimmers from the entire region.


Always exciting, this Missouri Valley Districts was unforgettable. Eleven swimmers from Wellington competed at Wichita Swim Club on July 19-21, and all took away something special.

Some will remember this as their first Districts. Owen Camblin, Derex Hay, and Aurora Young adjusted quickly to the uniqueness of this meet: competitors from the entire western half of the Missouri Valley Local Swimming Committee, an indoor pool, and the expectation that swimmers report directly to their lanes rather than to a clerk of the course. Derex selected the 50 breast and 100 free while Owen swam 50 fly, 100 free, and 50 back. Aurora specialized in the freestyles: 50, 100, and 200.

Best times also made this event memorable. Alara cut 15 seconds on the 200 free, 12 seconds on the 100 breast, 3 seconds on the 50 back, and 1 second on the 100 free. Owen Camblin dropped 20 seconds on the 50 back, 6 seconds on the 100 free, and 1 second on the 50 fly. Jensen Lynnes cut 5 seconds on 200 back, 2 seconds on the 100 free, and 1 second on both the 50 free and100 fly. Aurora Young trimmed off 5 seconds on the 100 free and over a second on the 50 free. Aidan cut 7 seconds on the 100 free, 3 seconds on the 100 back, and almost two seconds on the 50 free (which, as 6% of his original time, was an unusually large improvement on such a short race).

Also on the 50 free, Colin Green and Derick Kotchavar broke the 30 second mark for the first time on a long course pool with cuts of 0.72 and 0.22, respectively. Hunter Bryant cut over 3 seconds on the 100 free and 0.17 on the 50 free. Chance Hamel dropped almost 2 seconds in the 100 free, more than half a second on the 100 back, and 0.34 on the 50 free. In addition to his great performance on the 50 free, Colin cut about 2 seconds on the 100 breast. Quinn McCueís performances in the 50 and 100 free were consistent with his prior best times.

Finally, several swimmers earned medals and/or ribbons. Alara Wilson was a two-time district champion, securing victory in the 200 free and 100 breast–distance races for a swimmer her age. Alara went on to place second in the 100 free, fourth in the 50 back, and seventh in the 50 fly. Jensen Lynnes also earned two golds for the 50 free and 200 back as well as two bronzes for the 100 free and 100 fly. Most of the girls’ swims at Districts were new Championship cuts!

In addition, Owen Camblin proved that he is one to watch with a sixth-place finish in the 10-and-Under 50 fly. Worth noting is that, had 8-and-unders been separated from 9-10 year-olds (as is the case at many meets), Owen would have been the champion of the youngest division! Aidan Young’s 50 free was a spectacular swim, and the scoreboard certainly took note: the massive cut launched him from the 20th seed to an 11th place finish.

Congratulations to all our first-time District qualifiers, personal-record setters, ribbon/medal earners, and District Champions!


The season stretched on a little longer for Jensen Lynnes and Alara Wilson. The girls traveled to Columbia, Missouri, competing in the same pool used by Division 1 athletes and other elite swimmers.

Alara Wilson’s talent was on full display: in the 50 free, she cut a second and a half and earned second place out of fifteen of the fastest swimmers in the region! Alara dropped 0.73 on the 50 back for an eleventh place finish, and a three-second improvement in the 100 free and a 1.21-second drop in the 200 free merited a pair of twelfths. Alara also placed thirteenth in the 100 breast and seventeenth in the 50 fly with a two-second cut. In total, Alara scored 37 points for her team. She was also a valuable member of the Aqua Shock 200 free relay that placed third.

After earning many new qualifications the week before, Jensen Lynnes had her work cut out for her; fortunately, she was up to the task. Compounding the challenge of competing in six individual races and three relays, this meet was prelims/finals for 13&O, meaning that the top 16 swimmers got (or had) to race again in order to earn their reward.

In the 50 free, Jensen returned to race in the B final, placing sixteenth in a field of forty-five. Her time of 29.66 was a 0.02 second drop from the personal best she set a week before. Jensen helped her relay teams to third place in the 400 free relay, fourth place in the 200 free relay, and eighth place in the 400 medley relay. Other personal bests included the 100 fly (a 1.56 second cut), the 200 IM (a 1.34 second cut), and the 100 back (a 0.44 second cut). Jensen swam a 1:06.95 in the 100 free, right on her best time from Districts. She rounded out the marathon of a meet with the 200 back.

With that, the summer season comes to a close–almost. The Wellington Sailfish will host its annual banquet for swimmers and their families to announce the (numerous) records broken this season and present (a plethora of) awards. Stay tuned!

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