By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Colton Fremont’s quest was to smoke the competition in Saturday’s State Games of Mississippi Swim Meet.
Instead, the 15-year-old Tupelo swimmer was the one getting burned … not in the pool, but by the pool.
“I wear a (swim) cap, so when I’m done my head’s on fire,” Fremont said following his race in the 200-meter butterfly. “It’s bad. The heat makes you sweat more in the water. It’s hard to get going.”
Meet officials and volunteers waged a day-long battle to keep the Rob Leake City Park pool cool enough – 82 degrees and under – for the swimmers to compete safely by dumping bags of ice into the water.
The temperature of the water would be in the low 90s without the ice.
“When you swim competitively, you feel the heat … and it’s bad,” said Fremont, whose best finish was a second in the 200-meter backstroke.
Shockwave swimmer Rachel Adair won four events in the girls 8-under division while teammate Chelsie Gray was a four-time winner in the 11-12 girls.
Rachel Dees was also a four-time champion for the Shockwave in the girls 13-14 division.
In the girls senior division, Hannah Wilson and Lacy Russell were double winners for the Shockwave while teammate Luke Leary captured two events in the boys 13-14 division.
The weather forecast for today calls for more intense heat as the teams – including the host Tupelo-based Shockwave – and more than 170 swimmers prepare for the final day of competition.
Today’s warmups are scheduled for 8 a.m. and the meet starts at 9.
The State Games, a Meridian-based, Olympics-style event, awarded its swim competition to Tupelo this year in an effort to boost interest and participation.