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Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014

Sikeston swim team prepares for annual Swim-a-thon as conference championship meet looms on horizon

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

(Photo)
Sikeston Shark's swimmer Gisselle Galang practices for her team's upcoming Swim-a-thon on Tuesday at the YMCA pool center. The annual Swim-a-thon will take place on Thursday with proceeds going to the Sikeston swim team. Brent Shipman, Staff
SIKESTON -- After a summer full of practice and meets the Sikeston Sharks swim team will start to wind down its season this week with two of its biggest events of the season.On Thursday the Sharks will host their annual Swim-a-thon to help raise money for the team and two days later will travel to Cape Girardeau to take part in the Southeast Missouri Swim Conference Championship (SMSC).

Held at the Sharks home of the YMCA pool, the Swim-a-thon is important to helping fund the swim program each year with all members of squad taking part.

"Each swimmer picks different people to donate so much money per lap that they swim," Sikeston co-coach Lauren Wilson explained. "They have the entire practice, which is an hour and 45 minutes, to swim as many laps as they possibly can.

"It can get quite expensive for their donators."

Last year, then 13 year-old Kaitlin Burton stole the show with a total of 126 laps completed during the team's night practice.

Back in the water on Saturday, the Sharks look to stay competitive against their some of their toughest competition of the season in the SMSC championships. They'll be racing against kids from other conference towns, including Cape Girardeau, Kennett and Poplar Bluff.

"Championships is a big deal," Wilson said. "That's pretty much what we work up for all summer. We practice all summer long, we go to meets and it prepares us for the championships at the very end so we want to bring our game 'A' game."

Wilson added that the entire squad, which ranges from 6 to 17 year-olds, has lowered their event times as the season has wore on and are in good shape for the tournament.