By Cort Reynolds
KENTON – More than 450 swimmers and their families will descend on Kenton July 9-10 for the 39th annual Elks Invitational Swim Meet and Western Ohio Aquatics League championship.
The WOAL is for swimmers aged four to 18 who are members of one of the league’s teams.
The Kenton Municipal Swimming pool is the site for the 2021 Swim Championships and will host eight teams from Ada, Bluffton, Findlay, Kenton, Shawnee Country Club, Wapakoneta, Westside and Van Wert. Teams will compete for the 2021 league title.
Events start at 9 a.m. on Friday, July 9 and will conclude around 2 p.m. Day two of champs will start at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 10 and will conclude around 3 p.m.
The league champs will be crowned at the end of day two. Ada was 4-3 overall this summer, with the boys team posting a 4-3 mark and the Alligator girls going 2-5.
“Swimming is a great sport,” said meet director Miriam Dulin. “Our region is very competitive in swimming. The summer league is a great way to keep current swimmers active, and provides a way for new swimmers to give competitive swimming a try.”
Each year the championships rotate between the Bluffton, Kenton and Wapakoneta pools.
On Saturday, one female and one male WOAL swimmer will be awarded The Beverly R. Little Memorial Scholarship in recognition of their gifts to the WOAL Swim League.
Local company and individual sponsors for the WOAL champs include: Lima Elks #54 and Kenton Elks Lodge #157, The Beverly R. Little Scholarship for the memorial race, Patriot Concrete and Kelly’s Poco Loco for heat winner prizes and Technique Swim Center for special heat awards.
Other event sponsors are Alvetro Orthodontics, BKP Ambulance Service, Diamond M Veterinary Clinic, Gammon’s Tree Service, Grey’s Cappie Sportswear, Graphic Packaging, JTB Tech, Orthodontic Associates, Precision Strip, Quest, Rogers Insurance Agency, Rudolph Foods, Skinny’s Tavern, Twirl Bridal & Prom Boutique, and YWCA of Van Wert County.
Admission is free and open to the public. Food trucks and concessions will be available for food and beverage purchases.