Cordova Iceworm Swim Team takes second place

Sierra Westing and Macey Wagner racing in the backstroke. Photo courtesy of Tara Brannon

By Laura Hanson
For The Cordova Times

Valdez Torpedoes Swim Club hosted its annual Banana Swim Meet on April 8-9.

Thankful for the ferry schedule, 24 Cordova Iceworm swimmers attended the meet with families and coaches, along with YMCA from Anchorage, and Chugiak Athletic Club (CAC) from Eagle River.

Cordova Iceworm Swim Team with their hard-earned trophy. Front row from left, Lander Ammerman, Kaiden Faught, Harbor Ammerman, David Kuntz, coach Marcela Wagner, Maxine Manuel and Celia Sheridan; second row from left, Ava McManus, Abby Yingling, Macey Wagner, Noah Reynolds, Elizabeth Baenen, Avery Reynolds and Evie Mills; third row from left, Coach Laura Hanson, Sierra Westing, Skyla Hallquist, Jace Brannon, and Tage Kinsman; back row from left, Wesley Sheridan, Tracer Stimson, Bastien Wagner, Rowan Wildrick, Jonah Wright, Brady Manus and coach Karen Hallquist. Photo courtesy of Tara Brannon

Cordova youth swimmers won a team trophy for second place with 41 “Bananas” (heat winners) to CAC’s first place win.

The last time a trophy was brought home was second place in 2014.

Wesley Sheridan, Bastien Wagner, David Kuntz and Rowan Wildrick with their victory bananas after winning their heat in the 200-medley relay. Photo courtesy of Marcela Wagner

Additionally, Bastien Wagner received a first place medal individually in the men’s 9-10-year-old category with top finishes in 50 freestyle, 100 IM, 100 freestyle, 50 breaststroke, 50 backstroke, 50 butterfly, and 100 breaststroke swims.

Avery Reynolds takes second place in her heat of the 50-yard butterfly. Photo courtesy of Karen Hallquist

All Cordova swimmers swam their personal best times and reached their seasonal goals in many events. The team spirit of relay races and cheering the Iceworms on deck and parents cheering from the stands was incredible.

Coach Karen Hallquist gives a congratulatory hug to first-year swimmers Celia Sheridan, Maxine Manuel and Harbor Ammerman. Photo courtesy of Tara Brannon

Coaches Laura Hanson, Chatham Warga, Marcela Wagner, Karen Hallquist and Leo Craig have enjoyed this return to the pool and club swim season, after a year away, with COVID mitigation not allowing a season in 2020/2021.

Coach Laura Hanson giving the littles pointers while the big kids get ready for their warm-up laps at the Valdez Banana Meet. Photo courtesy of Julie Reynolds

There have been 35 swimmers ages 6-13 years old practicing up to four mornings a week from December through April. Returning swimmers lead the way to grow our team and support the new members.

Thank you to our sponsors Wilson Construction, Edward Jones, Cordova Outboard, J&H Construction, and Unakwik Aquaculture for financial support this season.

We are excited about the future of Cordova swimming! Just keep swimming!

Relay team members, from left, Abby Yingling, Ava McManus and Macey Wagner cheer on their junior teammate, Maxine Manuel, in the 200-yard medley relay. Photo courtesy of Julie Reynolds

Laura Hanson is a coach for the Cordova Iceworm Swim Team.