Letter to the Editor: Kudos to the county’s swim teams, coaches

Editor:

Unbeknownst to most locally, our three county high schools almost didn’t have a swim program this year. It was a 23rd-hour decision that left our local swimmers and coaches wondering if they’d be swimming this winter. Luckily, the programs survived, with a lot of help from many local supporters, the School Board, and the Shenandoah County Swim League. Without their last-minute heroics this program would have certainly died.

It’d be a shame because of how well these programs have performed on the regional and state levels in recent years.

I’d wager that most readers aren’t aware of the incredible successes that all three schools have had in recent years. Last year, all three schools sent multiple swimmers to the states and had swimmers medal there. As a Stonewall Jackson High School parent, I watched our 4 x 100 boys relay team medal there, for what I understand to be Stonewall Jackson’s first state medalist relay team.

This year, our county schools will once again be well represented at the state meet in Christiansburg this Sunday. Stonewall Jackson is sending four swimmers, Central will be sending 15 swimmers, and Strasburg will also be sending 15 swimmers to the state meet. Those student athletes competed in the 1A/2A regionals in Falls Church last weekend to qualify for the state meet. Several students from each of the schools qualified in multiple events and have great chances to medal in those events.

This could be an incredible year countywide for all of our swimmers. It was also great having all three schools back in one region (combo 1A/2A swim) so we as parents could watch and celebrate the successes of all three schools in one setting.

Kudos to these kids and their coaches for the hard work and dedication they put in. The swim programs at each school continue to be one of the more successful programs in the county, are programs that get little recognition in the area, and almost didn’t see the light of day this year. Best of luck to these fine student athletes this weekend.

Charlie Fultz, New Market

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