Madisonville's Blue Wave summer swim team brought home some silverware by edging out the field to take the Audubon League Championship meet at the Owensboro Healthpark Wednesday.
In a meet featuring the Owensboro Country Club (OCC) and the Healthpark Heatwaves, the Blue Wave did just enough to take the championship by two points. Their total of 980.5 edged out OCC's 978.5 points, while the Heatwaves finished in third place with 418 points.
"To put that into perspective, the margin of victory could have been erased if any of our athletes would have finished one spot lower in any of the races," said Blue Wave head coach Kent Waide. "It was extremely tight."
The event featured 74 different races, competing for a total of 2,377, organized across different age, stroke and distance, and they all wound up being important.
Luckily for the Blue Waves, they had a deep team to handle the large number of events. This year they have a team of 94, their largest group ever, which broke a total of 17 team records at the final meet and took home the league title for the second straight year.
"Owensboro Country Club has traditionally won the title with their strength in the younger age groups," said Waide. "But this year we had 94 athletes sign up, and for several of them it was the first time they had been on a championship team, and they performed."
See Wave/Page B2
Despite the big team win, the Blue Wave was still pushed to victory by some great individual performances. The team had four boys win the high-point trophy for their respective age group. John Carver took home the trophy in the 8U age group, Sy Soriano won it in the 10U category, Hayden Carter got the 12U trophy and Ethan Clemons rounded out the winners taking the 14U division.
The Blue Wave team teaches kids from the whole spectrum of age group and talent throughout the summer, and on Wednesday the results from all their hard work showed. The team had specialized training for the team of almost 100, and they have been seeing improvement and broken milestone all summer long.
"Each age group received excellent skills development from their age group coach," said Waide. "Our coaches built skills in the young athletes, and from the start of the summer the athletes improved dramatically."
One of the reason the team has grown in both size and ability in the last couple of years is the recent renovations at the Hopkins County YMCA pool. The changes in the facility have allowed the increase in numbers and improve the quality of the stuff they are teaching.
"The Hopkins County Family YMCA's newly renovated facility has been a great place to work with the athletes," said Waide. "The family-friendly staff has been terrific as the Blue Wave team continues to grow."