Tooele’s time-honored swim tradition continues on a national level as five local athletes found success at the nationals in San Antonio, Texas April 28 to May 1.
Holly Tate, Annie Walgamott, Staci and Stuart Smith, and former Tooele resident (now of Suffolk, Virginia) Steve Whear participated in the meet for athletes over age 18.
They joined competitors from throughout the U.S. as well as international swimmers in the short course championships.
Walgamott, basked in the spotlight of the 30 to 34-year age group. She grabbed silver medals in the 50 and 100 breaststroke, fourth in the 200 free and 200 individual medley, and seventh in the 100 free.
In the process, she broke Utah Master’s State records in her age group in all five of her events.
Tate packed home medals in the 50 back and 200 back, with fourth and fifth place finishes respectively.
Staci Smith, Stuart Smith, and Whear each hit season best times in their individual events.
“We all returned home inspired and motivated,” said Tate, who coaches the Tooele High swim team.
“In addition to competing against and watching current and former Olympians, witnessing a 99-year-old woman compete amazed all of us.”
Swimmers of all abilities are encouraged to practice with the local Masters team Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 9 a.m. at the Pratt Aquatic Center, 55 N. Vine in Tooele.
Mel Roberts, former Tooele High School coach, is on deck working with swimmers of all ages.
Staci Smith said, “His practices have been tough but helped us be ready when we got on the blocks.” The others all agreed since all swimmers posted best times for the season.”