Champs top marlins in friendly swim meet – Addison County Independent | WHs Answers

THREE VERGENNES CHAMPS JUMP off the blocks in Tuesday’s boys under 14 freestyle race at Middlebury pool. Pictured left to right are Joey Maneen, Noah Smits and Will Clark, all 13. Clark won the race.

MIDDLEBURY — While adults took turns chatting, cheering and cooling off under umbrellas on a steamy summer night, young swimmers from host Middlebury Marlins and Vergennes Champs renewed their friendly rivalry at Middlebury Town Baths on Tuesday.

Summer swimming is best measured by smiles, improvement in times and technique, and camaraderie – there was great cheering for a youngster who appeared to complete the length of the pool for the first time in competition.

But times are kept and points are counted, and by the time the scorers had done their job, defending champions Vergennes’ team had prevailed 301-157. The Champs improved to 4-1 in the Champlain Valley Swim League while the Marlins, who won a statewide small-team division in 2021, continued to search for their first win of the summer.

The coaches of both teams did not talk about wins and losses, but that their swimmers should enjoy the experience.

Marlins head coach Colleen Rueppel has seen the team’s ranks swell to about 85 this summer, but many are novice swimmers. She and her assistant coaches look forward to introducing them to the sport.

“They’re still learning how it works and everything. So we’re having fun. It was a good summer,” said Rueppel.

At the same time, there are talented, experienced Marlins that coaches are helping to improve their skills, particularly older swimmers like Holly Staats, Aidan Chance, Connor McNamara, Natalie Rockwell and Nora Wootten. Those swimmers have also taken on leadership roles, Rueppel said.

VERGENNES CHAMPS SWIMMER Ella Romond, 13, competes in the 50-yard butterfly in Middlebury on Tuesday. Romond won that race and two others at the meet.

“They really stepped up and helped with the younger kids,” Rueppel said. “They are great leaders.”

Some of the younger swimmers have also excelled and the coaches have found a balance between developing the basic skills of the newcomers and improving the skills of the more experienced swimmers.

“We have developed a strategy with the coaching staff that I have this year to see who is stronger and maybe have a different exercise,” said Rueppel.

Champs coaches echoed Rueppel about emphasizing the enjoyment part of the summer swim experience.

“It’s been a fun year for these guys. We have a lot of new swimmers, a lot of returning swimmers,” said Champs coach Bill Clark. “Luckily we didn’t lose a lot of swimmers so we’re still building as a team so it’s been a good year for us.”

Retaining older swimmers has allowed the champs to create a meet-buddy system. Coach Addie Brooks, a champ senior swimmer until a few years ago, said this works well because the younger swimmers quickly learned to rely on the team’s veterans to tell when their next race was and where they were going they should go next. She added that the process bonded the team.

“They met and made sure they had their friends,” Brooks said. “All of a sudden they went to the older swimmers who were helping them, that was fantastic.”

Clark also said the champs were able to keep the swimmers going by maintaining team traditions like night swimming, team-wide sno-cone awards for drop time and a tie-dye event.

The champs are giving senior swimmers responsibilities, Clark said, with a team leadership group as well as coaching responsibilities when they’re ready. The group has also only eliminated poolside picnic tables and helps plan those team events, Clark added.

“It’s great to have hired these older swimmers. It’s almost like community service for the team,” he said. “They have a different purpose than just swimming as a team and I think that keeps them happy and brings them back.”

MIDDLEBURY MARLIN’S SWIMMER Cassandra Bellman, 8, competes in Tuesday’s meet in Middlebury. Bellman won two races and finished second in another.


In the Middlebury pool on Tuesday, the champs picked up points by winning 11 relays to 5 for the Marlins.

Swimmers who scored points for their teams with top 3 finishes in individual races were:


  • U-8 girls: 1. Cassandra Bellman, M, 22.62; 2. Lydia Bearor, V.
  • U-8 Boys: 1. Paul Foley, V, 18.15; 2. Felix Poduschnick, M.
  • U-10 Girls: 1.Jordan Hutchins, V, 17.88; 2. Juliette Angier, V.
  • U-10 Boys: 1. Connor Husk, V, 16.46; 2. Skyler James, V.; 3. Henry Cadoret, M.
  • U-12 Girls: 1. Sadie Chance, M, 32.34; 2. Aurora Foley, V; 3. Sophia James, V
  • U-12 boys: 1. Khanlen Ouimette, V, 36.32; 2. Constantin Bellman, M.
  • U-14 Girls: 1. Ella Romond, V, 40.53.
  • U-14 boys: 1. Noah Smits, V, 12/30; 2. Will Clark, V
  • U-18 girls: 1. Holly Staats, M, 29.57; 2. Acadia Clark, V.; 3. Nora Wootten, M.
  • U-18 boys: 1. Aidan Chance, M, 26.20; 2. Luke Davis, V; 3. Connor McNamara, M.


  • U-8 girls: 1. Scarlet Giroux, V, 26.34; 2. Dorothy Krahn, M.; 3.Adalyn Gingras, V.
  • U-8 boys: 1st P. Foley, V, 21.66; 2. Cooley Riker, V.; 3. EvanHill, M.
  • U-10 Girls: 1st J. Hutchins, V, 20.63; 2. J. Angier, V; 3. Eleanor O’Leary, M.
  • U-10 boys: 1. C. Husk, V, 10/20; 2. Beowulf Yarbrough, 01/23; 3. Gavin Krahn.
  • U-12 Girls: 1st A. Foley, V, 35.02; 2. Ellie Brooks, V; 3. Fiona Mackey, M.
  • U-12 Boys: 1st K. Ouimette, V, 39.44; 2. Alejandro Ramos, V
  • U-14 girls: 1st E. Romond, V, 36.66; 2.Elizabeth Rockwood, M.
  • U-14 boys: 1. W. Clark, V, 29.58; 2. Maxwell Goodfellow, V.
  • U-18 girls: 1. Natalie Rockwell, M, 32.93; 2. Carlyn Rapoport, V.; 3. Bee Eckels, V.
  • U-18 boys: 1. L. Davis, V, 30.46.


  • U-8 Girls: 1. Approx. Bellhop, 25.87; 2. S. Giroux, V; 3. Michan Ouimette, V.
  • U-8 boys: 1st P. Foley, V, 21.75; 2. F. Poduschnick, M; 3. Martin Gee, V.
  • U-10 girls: 1st J. Hutchins, V, 21.51; 2. Emry Mosehauer, V.
  • U-10 boys: 1st Sk. James, E, 23.33; 2. Weston Kittredge, V.; 3. WestonWright, M.
  • U-12 girls: 1st S. Chance, M, 37.82; 2. So. James, V; 3. Mitzi Poduschnick.
  • U-12 boys: 1. Co. Bellman, 44.32; 2. Jörgen Pirrung, M.
  • U-14 girls: 1. Ellie Eckels, 42.6; 2. Lily Allen, M.
  • U-14 Boys: 1. Clark Crary, V, 32.96; 2. N. Smits, V.
  • U-18 girls: 1st C. Rapoport, V, 35.08; 2. N. Wootten, M.; 3. A. Clark, V.
  • U-18 boys: 1. A. Chance, M, 33.15; 2. C. McNamara, M.; 3. Gray Fearon, V


  • U-8 girls: 1. Lydia Bearor, 19.81; 2. Ca. Bellmann, M; 3rd Sc. Giroux, V
  • U-8 boys: 1st P. Foley, V, 14.57; 2. F. Poduschnick, M; 3. Wyatt Hill, M.
  • U-10 Girls: 1st J. Hutchins, V, 15.75; 2. Kendall Kittredge, V.; 3. Cecily O’Leary, M.
  • U-10 boys: 1. C. Husk, V, 15.3; 2. W. Kittredge, V.; 3. Matthew Del Grieco, M.
  • U-12 girls: 1st S. Chance, M, 30.15; 2. A Foley, V.; 3. So. James, v.
  • U-12 boys: 1st J. Pirrung, V, 30.39; 2. K. Ouimette, V.; 3. A. Ramos, V.
  • U-14 girls: 1st E. Romond, V, 31.52; 2. Nava Glikman, M.; 3. L. Allen, M.
  • U-14 Boys: 1st W. Clark, V, 24.71; 2. Cohen Howell, V.
  • U-18 girls: 1. N. Rockwell, M, 27.94; 2. B. Eckels, V; 3. A. Clark, V.
  • U-18 boys: 1. A. Chance, M, 24,23; 2. L. Davis, V.; 3. C. McNamara, M.

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