Published: Jul 27, 2011 01:07 AM
Modified: Jul 20, 2011 01:46 PM
CARY - The Cary City Invitational swim meet reached a special milestone last weekend - its 30th anniversary.
Such longevity means thousands of kids have rotated through the various age divisions over the years.
One constant, other than colorful swim suits, is the army of volunteers it takes to put on a meet that included more than 1,000 participants - boys and girls competing in six age divisions - Saturday at the Cary Swim Club.
Cary residents John and Julia Thomas have been volunteering since 1989. They were again wearing their familiar green vests that read Clerk of the Course, although they could have given up their roles years ago when the last of their three children outgrew youth swimming.
"I expect we'll still be doing this for a long time," Julia Thomas said. "We love seeing the kids."
Two of their three children, 26-year-old Julia and 22-year-old Christopher, are alums of the summer meet and now return as volunteers.
"This meet was the highlight of my summer," said the younger Julia Thomas, a nurse in Raleigh and former swimmer at Cary High School. "I want to help the kids enjoy it as much as we did."
Here are some highlights:Team title:
The Prestonwood Piranhas won the overall team title that combines the boys and girls meets and the morning and afternoon sessions. The Piranhas scored 1,530 points to the Cary Sea Dragons' 1,258.5.Triple winners:
The afternoon session for the older divisions featured three triple winners in individual events: the Wellsley Waves' Emily Etgen and brothers Brayden and Christian Lauffer of Apex's Abbington Alligators.
Etgen, a rising freshman at Green Hope High, swept her three events in the girls 13-to-14 age division. She won the 50-yard freestyle, 26.07 seconds; 50 backstroke, 30.36; and 50 breaststroke, 34.45. She says this meet stands out from other summer competitions. "This meet is fun because I have a lot of friends in swimming and I like competing against so many different teams," Etgen said.
Brayden's three wins in the boys 13-14 were the 50 backstroke, 28.48; 50 breaststroke, 30.31; and 50 butterfly, 26.73.
Christian's three wins in the boy boys 11-12 were the 50 backstroke, 31.02; 50 breaststroke, 35.62; and 50 butterfly, 30.35.
Brayden and Christian weren't the only Lauffer siblings who won titles. Landon Lauffer and Lily Lauffer also won titles. Landon won the boys 9-10 25-yard backstroke in 17.00 and Lily won the girls 7-8 25-yard butterfly in 17.60.
"They're some of the hardest working kids I know," said Abbington assistant coach Patrick Goodwin. "They lead by example."For the record book:
The only meet record broken in the morning session was set by Claire Curzan of The Reserve Stingrays in the girls 6-and-under.
Her time of 21.18 in the 25 backstroke broke Olivia Carter's 2007 mark of 21.79. Curzan swept the 6-and-under division's only two events as she also won the 25 freestyle in 17.88.Other big performers
Multiple-event winners in the afternoon session were:
Zack Sowers (Kildaire Farms Killer Whales), who won the boys 15-18 division's 50 backstroke in 26.07 and the 50 butterfly in 24.20.
Victoria Tschoke (Olive Chapel Swim Club), who won the girls 15-18 division's 50 backstroke in 28.31 and the 50 breaststroke in 31.83.
Multiple winners in the morning session were:
Dylan Georges (Highcroft Hurricanes) in the boys 7-8. Georges was the lone triple winner by taking the 25 freestyle, 14.63; the 25 backstroke, 18.17; and the 25 butterfly, 17.40.
Corina Smith (Wellsley Wave) in the girls 7-8. Smith won the 25 backstroke in 19.11 and the 25 breaststroke in 21.07.
Stephen Atkinson (Silverton Sharks) in the boys 9-10. Atkinson won the 25 freestyle in 14.25 and 25 butterfly in 14.66.
Abby Rutledge (Cary Park Sea Dragons) in the girls 9-10. Rutledge won the 25 freestyle in 14.58 and the 25 butterfly in 16.02.