Like a fish in water.
In the aquatic world, it may not be a common occurrence to see marlins, seahorses and lionfish battling it out for supremacy.
Recently at the London Municipal Pool, it was the main attraction.
In its third year of existence, local swim team the Madison County Marlins, were taking on a pair of their underwater league rivals.
The Marlins are part of the Suburban East Swim League (SESL), which is made up of six teams in addition to the Marlins — Foxboro Barracudas (Gahanna), Hunters Ridge Seahorses (Gahanna), Eastmoor Swordfish (Bexley), New Albany Dolphins, Plain City Shark, and Lifetime Fitness Easton Lionfish.
The Marlins roster had 37 swimmers in the event, compared to 79 for Hunters Ridge and 27 for Lifetime. There are youngsters ages 5-18 from throughout Madison County who participate. The Marlins are coached by Bart deNijs and Erin Stollings.
According to their coaches, the Marlins had 47 personal bests out of 64 swims on the day. The event was shortened by rain.
The Marlins who earned first-place finishes were Emily Bennett (50-meter butterfly, 100m breaststroke, 100m freestyle), Zack Kaltenbach (50m fly, 100m breaststroke, 100m freestyle), Rylyn Helton (50m backstroke, 50m freestyle), James Thompson (50m backstroke), Molly Weese (50m backstroke), Jack Davidson (50m backstroke, 50m breastroke), Cameron Burns (100m backstroke), Isabelle Tipton (50m breaststroke), and Luke Thompson (50m breaststroke). Relay teams placing first were two separate boys medley relay teams (Isaac Capell, Isaiah Capell, James Thompson, Thomas Leach, Luke Thompson, Cameron Burns, Zack Kaltenbach, and Jack Davidson) as well as a girls medley relay team comprised of Cady Perry, Tori Bennett, Emily Bennett, and Lauren Boyd.
Individual Marlin second-place finishers were James Thompson (two), Luke Thompson (two), Addie Thompson, Isabelle Tipton (two), Tori Bennett (two), Isaac Tipton, Rylyn Helton, Molly Weese (two), Kaitlin Adkins, Cameron Burns, Gabby Crawford, Isaac Capell, and Natalie Boyd. Also placing second was the 200m medley relay team of Natalie Boyd, Rylan Chaffin, Jillian Oldham, and Kaitlin Adkins.
Third place Marlins were Gabby Crawford, Cady Perry (two), Carlena Ramey, Isaac Capell, Natalie Boyd, Isaac Tipton, Emma Mounts, Jillian Oldham, and Isabelle Tipton.
The Marlins’ 2018 sponsors include:
Platinum sponsors — Madison County Vineyard Church
Gold sponsors — The Weese Family, Kiwanis Club of London Ohio, Inc., Mandy’s Daycare, AllState Exteriors, LLC, London Aerie No. 950 Fraternal Order of Eagles, Madison Health, Wilson Printing & Graphics, Inc., Weddings by Mark, DiamondZ, Todd Boyd/RE/MAX Leading Edge, Peters Photography, London Animal Hospital
Silver sponsors – London State Theater, Rotary Club of London, Ohio
Bronze sponsors — All 4 Paws, Chevron Pool Co., Inc., Fraternal Order of Eagles No. 950; Ladies Auxiliary, Kronk & Scaggs Insurance, Inc., American Legion Womens Auxiliary No. 105, Madison County Chiropractic.
Additionally, the following local businesses donated to the silent auction: Great Clips of London, Lonna’s Salon of London, Baskets by Ann, Repurposefully Yours of West Jefferson, and paisleyfire creations (Julia Thornhill).
Jeff Gates is a contributing writer for The Advocate.