Local Meet Assists Down Syndrome Swimmers
Diversity flourishes in our ranks
Local meets provide an opportunity for a variety of swimmers to work toward their personal goals. A world-class swimmer may go for a record; another swimmer might try a new event; many swimmers are trying for a personal best in some event; a first-time meet swimmer may just want to finish an event.
In a recent Missouri Valley meet, six new USMS members entered to get meet experience and to get times to qualify for the 4th World Championships held by the Down Syndrome International Swimming Organisation. The championship meet will be held in Portugal, November 27-December 4, 2008. All of these swimmers have participated in Special Olympics meets, but this was their first USMS meet. Despite a little nervousness, all had fun and swam well.
Four of the male swimmers joined forces for a relay. Matthew Montgomery, Matt Casey, Kendall Scheidt and Matthew Hood filled a vacant Missouri Valley LMSC record for the 72-99 age group. That same relay also earned a spot in the USMS Top 10 rankings. Rachel O'Brien and Chris Ringot also participated in the meet, with Rachel qualifying for the DSISO World Championships in the 800 free. Above all, everyone had a great time swimming their first Masters meet at the beautiful University of Missouri aquatic complex.