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Swim-O-Thon Winner Makes 176 Laps

Feb. 22, 2009 — St. Thomas swim team members showed off their skills in the pool Saturday, with the winner swimming 176 laps during the 17th annual Snapple Swim-o-thon, an event geared toward raising funds for the aquatic center in Estate Nazareth.
"This is one of our largest fundraisers of the year," said Stingrays coach Kirk Boeger. "The money we pull in helps to benefit the swim team and the operations of the pool so we can stay open and have learn-to-swim programs, swim lessons and, of course, a home for the swim team. It's a community pool — it's for everybody, so as far as being able to get the community involved, this is a great way to do that."
Stuart Henderly of the Stingrays swam 176 laps during Saturday's event.
The St. Thomas Swimming Association's aquatic center provides a variety of programs that cater to residents ranging from ages 2 to 50, including parent-and-child classes and water-aerobics classes. Students from the Ivanna Eudora Kean and Charlotte Amalie high schools are also in the pool during the week learning to swim and to administer CPR and first aid.
A handful of swimmers were in the water as early as 9 a.m. Saturday, and the numbers kept growing throughout the afternoon. A few hours later, about 65 participants had gathered to show their support for the cause, including a group of local celebrities and government officials. Stingrays' members easily racked up hundreds of laps throughout the day, blowing out adult swimmers twice their age.
There are about 40 students on the swim team, and a portion of the proceeds from Saturday's events goes toward their travel expenses, Boeger said.
"We plan on going to Puerto Rico, then to Florida in June," he said. "We hope to continue to pay for those kinds of expenses, which also means making sure the coaches go to the meets, because they need have to have a coach with them on deck for them to be legal."
After spending less than an hour in the pool, Stingrays swimmer Zola Roper had already turned out 120 laps.
"This is the most I've ever swam," she said. "I love being in the pool — I've been swimming since I was a little kid and I think it's a really fun activity to do. I like the pool more than the beach because I feel more comfortable in the water, and I think I did really good today. But I'm still a little tired."
This year's swim-o-thon champions are:
Overall Champion: Stuart Henderly, 176 laps (Stingrays)
Age 8 and under: Shaw Clements, 114 laps (Stingrays)
Age 9 to 10 champion: Libby Ryan, 118 laps (Stingrays)
Age 11 to 12 champion: Julianna DeHass, 118 laps (Stingrays)
Age 13 to 14 champion: Zola Roper, 120 laps (Stingrays)
Non-swim team champion (adult): Dave Whitter, 117 laps
Non-swim team champion (youth): Jeanna Perry, 80 laps (All Saints Cathedral School)
"The team that raises the most amount of money also receives a plaque, so when we have everything tallied in up in a couple weeks, we'll make sure to name our fundraising champs for this year," Boeger said. "We really thank the community for reaching out and continuing to support this great cause. We really need to do everything we can to keep the pool open in the future."
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Feb. 22, 2009 -- St. Thomas swim team members showed off their skills in the pool Saturday, with the winner swimming 176 laps during the 17th annual Snapple Swim-o-thon, an event geared toward raising funds for the aquatic center in Estate Nazareth.
"This is one of our largest fundraisers of the year," said Stingrays coach Kirk Boeger. "The money we pull in helps to benefit the swim team and the operations of the pool so we can stay open and have learn-to-swim programs, swim lessons and, of course, a home for the swim team. It's a community pool -- it's for everybody, so as far as being able to get the community involved, this is a great way to do that."
Stuart Henderly of the Stingrays swam 176 laps during Saturday's event.
The St. Thomas Swimming Association's aquatic center provides a variety of programs that cater to residents ranging from ages 2 to 50, including parent-and-child classes and water-aerobics classes. Students from the Ivanna Eudora Kean and Charlotte Amalie high schools are also in the pool during the week learning to swim and to administer CPR and first aid.
A handful of swimmers were in the water as early as 9 a.m. Saturday, and the numbers kept growing throughout the afternoon. A few hours later, about 65 participants had gathered to show their support for the cause, including a group of local celebrities and government officials. Stingrays' members easily racked up hundreds of laps throughout the day, blowing out adult swimmers twice their age.
There are about 40 students on the swim team, and a portion of the proceeds from Saturday's events goes toward their travel expenses, Boeger said.
"We plan on going to Puerto Rico, then to Florida in June," he said. "We hope to continue to pay for those kinds of expenses, which also means making sure the coaches go to the meets, because they need have to have a coach with them on deck for them to be legal."
After spending less than an hour in the pool, Stingrays swimmer Zola Roper had already turned out 120 laps.
"This is the most I've ever swam," she said. "I love being in the pool -- I've been swimming since I was a little kid and I think it's a really fun activity to do. I like the pool more than the beach because I feel more comfortable in the water, and I think I did really good today. But I'm still a little tired."
This year's swim-o-thon champions are:
Overall Champion: Stuart Henderly, 176 laps (Stingrays)
Age 8 and under: Shaw Clements, 114 laps (Stingrays)
Age 9 to 10 champion: Libby Ryan, 118 laps (Stingrays)
Age 11 to 12 champion: Julianna DeHass, 118 laps (Stingrays)
Age 13 to 14 champion: Zola Roper, 120 laps (Stingrays)
Non-swim team champion (adult): Dave Whitter, 117 laps
Non-swim team champion (youth): Jeanna Perry, 80 laps (All Saints Cathedral School)
"The team that raises the most amount of money also receives a plaque, so when we have everything tallied in up in a couple weeks, we'll make sure to name our fundraising champs for this year," Boeger said. "We really thank the community for reaching out and continuing to support this great cause. We really need to do everything we can to keep the pool open in the future."
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.