Madison to host swimming invitational
Young swimmer ready to compete
Record Managing Editor
George Wong began swimming a little over a year and a half ago.
Since then, the 10-year-old youngster has become one of Madison's most promising swimmers. He said he's looking forward to the upcoming Rocket City Aquatics and the Madison Titans Invitational that will be held later this month at Dublin Park.
Wong said he is already preparing for the event, the first for Madison, as well as his fellow members on the Madison Titans Swim Club. The young swimmer said he likes competition and it will be neat to compete against other swimmers his age from across the region.
The event will take place at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, at Dublin Recreation Center pool. Invitations have been sent to all USS teams, which includes local clubs as RCA and the Huntsville Swim Association. Other Southeastern region clubs in Tullahoma, Tenn., Chattanooga, Tenn., Birmingham, Sheffield, Florence, Nashville, Tenn. will be coming to compete, with some coming from as far as Georgia and Florida.
Pam VonJouanne, assistant coach for the Madison Titans, said it is exciting for Madison to serve as host of the event. She said the Dublin Recreation Center is a great swim facility to have it at.
"We're hoping to have all of the members of the Titans participating and we will have home pool advantage," VonJouanne said.
Events will vary in length from 25, 50, 100, 200, 400 and 500 yards of freestyle, backstroke, butterfly, and breaststroke.
"The breaststroke is my best stroke, Wong said. "It's the easiest for me to do."
Coaching the Titans are Mike Gunner, Pam and Roger VonJouanne and Gayle Marbury. The four are not strangers to the pool. Gunner swam at the collegiate level and continues to swim in a master's swim team, which is another USA sanctioned program. The Von Jouanne's also swam at the collegiate level. In addition, Roger was an alternate at the 1984 U.S.A. Olympic Swim Team. He holds the master's level world record for his age group in 200-yard individual medley.
Marbury is an experienced triathlon athlete and coach of the Madison Dolphins, an Alabama Parks and Recreation Association summer swim league.
Wong and his teammates compete at least once a month with various USA swim clubs around the Southeast.
"My parents got me into swimming at first and I really like it," Wong said.
Wong took the High Point Award for boys 10 and under at the Great Pumpkin Meet in Tullahoma and was the first runner-up High Point at the Jack Frost Meet in Huntsville. One of his team members, Holly Cartwright took third High Point honors for girls 10 and under at the Great Pumpkin Meet.
For those who may be interested in swimming with the Titans, there are three practice groups available.
The Bronze group is comprised of beginners with one year or less of swim team experience. They practice up to four hours a week and concentrate on learning the four strokes and elements of competitive swim training.
The Silver group is comprised of intermediate swimmers with solid knowledge of the four strokes and they practice up to eight hours a week with increased yardage, turn work and stroke refinement.
The Gold group is the advanced swimmers with strong competitive goals. They practice up to 12 hours a week with a higher intensity workout, including some strength training geared toward championship meets.
"I want to swim for a long time," Wong said. "My parents support me and I have a lot of fun. It's hard, but I like it."