Tidal Waves Make Splash at State Swim Meet

TTW Medalists

Tallahatchie Tidal Wave swimmers Joseph Fennell, Aniston McClellan, and Bo Rainer show their medals and ribbons from the State Long Course Swim Meet that was recently held in Cleveland. Although the club is less than two years old, these young swimmers made a major showing against elite swimmers from across the state of Mississippi.

The Tallahatchie Tidal Waves had a successful meet in the state long course swim meet in Cleveland recently. Nearly 300 elite swimmers from across the state of Mississippi competed ranging in ages 6 through 25. Swimmers competed in an Olympic sized 50 meter pool during the competition.

Coach Joanna Manning said even though the Tidal Waves train in a shorter pool of 25 yards at the Baptist Healthplex, it didn’t work as a disadvantage to the team. Coach Manning said, “We do so much as far as their distance work within the pool that their endurance is really high so changing from the 25 yard pool that we train in, to the 50 meter pool is really not that big a transition for them because they train so hard.”

The Tidal Waves finished twelfth overall out of sixteen clubs even though they only had three swimmers competing. Coach Manning said “We brought only three people to state and we still placed and that was a major accomplishment for them. Each child was competing in several events. The largest team competing brought in over 80 swimmers.”

Aniston McClellan won third place in the individual 50 meter and 100 meter breaststroke in her age group. McClellan said “It was fun because I got to go with my friends and do something that most people don’t get to experience. Last year I got thirteenth, so I definitely improved since last year.” McClellan has been swimming competitively for two years.

Joseph Fennell competed in several events as well, the 200 meter freestyle, 100 meter freestyle, 50 meter freestyle, 100 meter breaststroke, 50 meter breaststroke, 50 meter fly and 50 meter backstroke. Fennell medaled in each event. Fennell will hit the two year mark of competitive swimming in September.

Bo Rainer competed in the 50 meter freestyle and said “I was going up against the top swimmers in the state and some of them swim under 30 seconds. I was surprised I got a ribbon, but was glad that I did.”

Shaelee Manning and Bryce Rainer competed in the 8&Under competition and medaled in their events.

The team normally competes in one or two events per month leading up the state competition. Laurel, Meridian, Tunica, Biloxi, Vicksburg, Jackson, Flowood, Cleveland and Tupelo are among the locations in Mississippi that the Tidal Waves travel to as they compete. With Tupelo nearing completion of a new swimming facility, it will be a welcome sight for the Tidal Waves as well. The long course and short course state championships are scheduled to be held there in 2014.

Coach Manning said they love the Baptist Healthplex for allowing them to use their facility to train. “They’ve been very gracious and it’s a benefit for the community to have a swim team. It gives the community another sport to participate in,” added Coach Manning.

Coach Manning said “The health benefit overall is great and swimming is the only sport that if you really learn it, you can save a life, whether it is your own or someone else’s. What other sport can actually say that? It is a lifetime sport, generally in other sports, if you are injured, you take up swimming because of its health benefits. Swimming is also work, it is fun but it is work.”

Signup for swimming is going on now. During the first week of August there will be tryouts, anyone new will have to tryout. They have to be able to swim any way that they know how for a distance of 25 yards without stopping. Open tryouts will take place the first week of August at the Baptist Healthplex from 4:15-6:00 on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

By Dennis Clayton

dennis.clayton@journalinc.com or follow Dennis on Twitter: @denclayton

About Dennis Clayton

I cover high school sports in Union County and occasionally contribute sports articles to sister community newspapers of Journal Inc. I have lived in Union County my entire life and strive to use my articles to promote our players, teams and schools. Follow me on Twitter: @denclayton for scores and updates on our local high school teams.
  • Sheli McClellan

    Love these kids! They’re a hard-working bunch who deserved the recognition. Thanks for the interviews and thanks to the Healthplex for allowing them to participate in this great sport.