SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Hundreds of swimmers from across six states are making a splash at the Midco Aquatic Center.
The Sioux Falls Swim Team is hosting a major Long Course Meet, with 28 teams stretching from Minnesota to Colorado competing in the 50-meter pool.
Whatever the distance, swimmers like 16-year-old Grace Davis are just happy to be back in the pool.
“After last summer, not getting to swim at all with COVID and not getting to do any meets, a lot of people really wanted to come here because we have a really nice facility, it’s relatively new, and it’s just an amazing opportunity to swim fast,” 16-year-old swimmer Grace Davis said.
With over 600 competitors, Davis says the level of competition at this meet is something she rarely sees.
“To have the competition that we’re having here, I haven’t had a lot of it before. It’s preparing you for the next level getting to swim with this many athletes,” Davis said.
The highest level of swimming in the world will be on display later this month in Tokyo.
“Olympic swimming is always fun for our kids because it really shines a spotlight on swimming that we don’t get a lot of the times,” Sioux Falls Swim Team head coach Kyle Margheim said.
Sioux Falls Swim Team Head Coach Kyle Margheim says the sport’s next big star could be swimming laps at this weekend’s event.
“The stars, Caeleb Dressel, Nathan Adrian, they are USA swim members just like our little 8-year-olds are the same USA swimming members. It’s easy for them to think that could be me one day because they all started in programs like this on USA swimming club teams like this and then they go up the ladder,” Margheim said.
“Michael Andrew, he got first I think in the 100-breast at the Olympic Trials. He holds some age group records here in South Dakota. He was originally from here, so it’s really cool to see someone, especially from South Dakota, at that top level,” Davis said.
The swim meet continues Saturday and Sunday, with prelims at 8:15 a.m. and finals at 5:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.