Tuesday, 31 January 2023

Channel Cats bring home wins from Humboldt meet

Left to right, Coach Joe Conger; Matteo Merodio, 13; Jeffrey Mulligan, 14; Guy Conger, 18; front row, left to right, Anais Fay, 9; and Sarah Merodio, 11. Photo by Tiffany Fay.

EUREKA – Lake County Channel Cats swimmer Guy Conger stretched his winning streak to 15 consecutive first place finishes at the Humboldt Invitational Swim Meet held here Saturday and Sunday.

Conger competed in eight events, taking first place in all of them.

This was the first swim meet for the Channel Cats since starting their new year-round program. Five swimmers from Lake County’s swim team made the trek to the meet, despite many of them having the flu. They all made new personal best times, according to Coach Joe Conger, Guy’s father.

For the girls, the newest swimmer, 9-year-old Anais Fay competed in her first meet since joining the team in September. She won her heats in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle and had a very strong showing in the 100-yard backstroke, according to Coach Conger.

Sarah Merodio showed the most improvement, taking off more than 15 seconds in some events and contributing 16 team points for her third-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle.

For the boys, Matteo Merodio placed and had personal best times in all his events. He had three firsts, four seconds and one third-place for a total of 144 overall points for the Channel Cats.

Jeffrey Mulligan had best times in all his events and accounted for 166 points for the team. He came in with five firsts, two seconds and two third-place finishes.

Guy Conger’s eight wins added 160 points to the team score. Conger also came away with new A+ Standard times in both the 100 and 50-yard Freestyle.

Coach Joe Conger, said he was overwhelmed with the success of the fledgling team, which has been training four or five days per week, often in chilly weather.

“To successfully compete in swimming you have to practice year-round and swim a lot of yards. These kids went from swimming 2,500 to 3,000 yards last summer to 4,500 to 5,500 yards currently, and the results were obvious in Humboldt,” said Coach Conger.

The Channel Cats finished the meet with over 450 team points, despite the fact several of the kids had the flu.

“Yeah, some of these kids were pretty sick, but you sure couldn’t tell by the way they competed,” Coach Conger said, “these kids showed great sportsmanship and it was great to have our community so well represented at our first-ever winter swim meet.”

The winter swim program has been growing every week and now has more than 30 youth swimmers and about 10 adult swimmers who join the kids for practice or just to swim on their own.



A swimmer races under the water. Photo by Tiffany Fay.




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