The first season of the Newton Summer Swimming program concluded with 35 swimmers ages 4 to 17.
The team was sponsored by the Newton Nitros Swim Club and the Newton Recreation Commission.
The swimmers were divided into three teams and competed in four intrasquad meets in June. More advanced Nitros swimmers were assigned to the teams as captains.
Many of the swimmers were novices.
“Half the fun of swim team is the meets; getting up and racing,” Nitros head coach Clinton Bailey said. “The sport is most rewarding when kids get to race in an exciting and supportive setting.”
In past years, swimmers would have to swim in programs at smaller towns surrounding Newton or compete for the Nitros, which compete in US Swimming competitions.
Hesston High state medalist and Nitros swimmer Addison Schroeder coached the teams.
“I got my first introduction to the sport on a summer swim team and loved it and now I’m headed to college to swim,” Schroeder said. “It’s fun to give kids in Newton the same opportunity to fall in love with the sport.”
The meets were held on Tuesdays. The Blue Team won three of the four meets with the Red Team winning the final meet. Swimmers received their awards on practice Wednesdays.
“I can’t believe how far my boys have come in just a few weeks,” said swimmer parent Derrick Ramer.
“I liked cheering for my team and being on relays,” said summer league swimmer Zeke Ramer, who swam with his brother Dominic on Green team.
“We look forward to continuing the program next summer and keeping it growing,” Bailey said. “We really appreciate the support of the Rec Center and the High School for helping us make this possible for kids in Newton.”
Bailey said the program allowed the swimmers to compete without the travel.
He said the 2020 summer program will feature an Olympic theme.
Sign-up will begin in March at newtonsummerswim.com.