Arnold relay team a favorite to bring home a medal this week

Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 6:44 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -Marlins are among the fastest fish in the sea, so it seems appropriate these guys swim for Arnold. This group of four, which makes up both the Arnold boy’s 200 free relay and 200 medley relay team is one of, if not the fastest in the state.

“The past two years, we had a pretty good relay, but definitely not this good.” says junior swimmer Shane McEliece. Seniors, Luke Maggiore and Colin McEliece, along with junior, Shane McEliece, and sophomore, Ben Parsons, make up the relay team that has already broken school and county records. They’re also racking up some pretty decent hardware with a district championship, along with first place finishes in both events at regionals. The history between the group has proved to be beneficial.

”Me, Colin, and Shane have been swimming since we were little kids.” says senior Luke Maggiore. “So Ben just kind of stepped in a couple of years ago, so we’ve all been really competitive over the years. It’s really great to come together for this last little bit to see what we can do.” For Ben, as the youngest, there’s perhaps extra pressure is on to do his part to help hopefully bring home a state title.

“I feel like, while they’ve got the opportunity to still swim for us, I should be working my hardest so I can give them exactly what they’ve been working for.” says the sophomore Parsons. “And I feel like I’ve done a good job of that so far, and I feel like we are going to get a good reward out of the season.”

“We all just depend on each other to do well” says senior Colin McEliece “because one person doesn’t make a relay. We know that all of us have to put in the same amount of work if we want our relay to do well, so that’s kind of what drives us to do the best we can.” With so many accolades already, and state qualifiers just coming out, it’s only a matter of time before these Marlins get the chance to try for those state titles.

“It’s exciting,” says Arnold swim coach Jennifer Morgan “and part of why it’s so exciting is because you want as a teacher and as a coach to convince kids that if they put in the effort, they’re going to eventually get to enjoy the fruit of their labor, and so really getting to see that in real time is awesome.” The State swim meet set for the Sailfish Splash Waterpark and Aquatics Center in Stuart, with the 2A meet, of which Arnold is a part, set for Friday. The 4A meet also Friday, the 1A and 3A meets set for Saturday.

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