Nothing fishy about their success.
In April 2016, some Madison County youngsters found they were swimmers without a team when London City Parks and Recreation decided not to continue with the city’s swim team.
Instead of hanging their heads, people sprang into action.
The Madison County Marlins were formed.
“A determined, dedicated group of parents ‘dove in’ to continue the swim team as a club team, not only for London, but for all of Madison County,” said Suzy Bennett, one of those parents who has also served as a coach for the team. “It has been a wavy journey with many challenges.”
The Marlins are part of the Suburban East Swim League (SESL), which is made up of four teams in addition to the Marlins — Foxboro Baracudas, Eastmoor Swordfish, Hunters Ridge Seahorses and New Albany Dolphins.
There were a total of 370 swimmers in the league, with 32 of them on the Marlins. Despite a relatively small number of people on the squad, a great percentage — 19 swimmers — qualified for the league finals meet. That was quite an accomplishment considering just the top eight swimmers in each event moved on to the finals, and all of the others teams in the league have year-round pool usage.
According to Bennett, when a dip in the City of London water tank caused a delay in the racing pool being filled, many of the team’s June practices were held at the Plain City Pool.
Top finishers for the Madison Marlins were Luke Thompson (second in 50-yard backstroke as well as third place finishes in both the 25-yard butterfly and 50-yard freestyle) and Molly Weese (third place finishes in both the 25-yard butterfly and 50-yard freestyle).
Bennett is quick to point out the support from the community to keep the program alive. The sponsors are displayed on the Marlins team shirts.
“We had such a wonderful outpouring of support from Madison County businesses and individuals to help get our feet wet out first season,” Bennett said. “We can’t thank them enough for all their support.”
Additionally, the Marlins were proud to have another award winner on its team — an award that is given to just one swimmer in the entire league.
For about eight years, Isaac Tipton has been taking swim lessons — first at the YMCA and then moved on to the adaptive aquatics program at Ohio State University. Isaac is served by the Madison County Board of Developmental Disabilities.
As a first-year member of the Madison County Marlins Swim Team, Isaac has established himself as great teammate, according to Bennett.
“Isaac may have challenges with Autism, but you wouldn’t know it from how he works so well with his team members,” Bennett said. “For several hours each week of the summer swimming season, he gets to be just another swimmer and that is indeed a blessing.”
Isaac’s commitment was noticed by others as he was unanimously selected to receive the league’s prestigious Summit Award, presented to one swimmer who has overcome obstacles to participate.
“I can’t say enough good things about his swim coach, team members, or the league in general,” said Isaac’s father Don. “Everyone was supportive and cheered Isaac on each time he participated in an event.”
Isaac has made an impact on his teammates.
“Needless to say, there were many tears of happiness and pride shed by his coaches, parents, friends and teammates when the award was presented,” Bennett said. “The Madison Marlins Swim Team is indeed proud to have such an active swimmer on our team.”
The Marlins look forward to next summer and welcome you to check out their website: madisoncountymarlins.wix.com/swim as updates will be posted next May regarding informational meetings for the 2017 season.