During a run of four state titles from 2010-2015, Scottsboro Swim Association had the benefit of competing in the small town classification.
However, last year Alabama Recreation & Parks Association decided to move to three classifications-: small-, medium- and large- based upon team size, not town population. Opponents of the move believe that punishes small towns that develop talent disproportionately well such as Scottsboro and many of its District 2 rivals.
As a result, SSA will be competing Friday and Saturday in Opelika at the ARPA State Swimming Championships as a large team, against the likes of Madison, Dothan, Auburn, Birmingham, Prattville and the host team Opelika among others.
Preliminary seedings reveal that SSA will most likely battle Cullman and Boaz for fourth-place, with an outside shot at a third-place team trophy. For that to happen, SSA’s swimmers will have to outswim their seeds just like they did at district.
Scottsboro boasts seven top seeds in the individual events. Maggie Ella Robbins, Cullen Roberts and Kyle Vosen are each seeded 1st in two events and second in their third event. Robbins and Vosen will be hoping to finish the summer unbeaten. Ryder Linville also carries a top seed into the meet as well as a pair of top-five seeds. Swimmers who place in the top-six in their event will earn medals, and SSA has a handful of swimmers likely to do so, including Cora White, Izzy Nelson, Arlen Parr, Lily Turlington, Paige Giles, Olyvia Stone, Clay Giles, Zach Beason and Bethany Dugan.
With over 60 swimmers entered, Scottsboro also has quite a few swimmers expected to score points with top 16 finishes. If past history is any guide, several will emerge from this group to claim medals as well. Scottsboro’s coaches (Diane Richard, Matt Brewer, Lauren Williams and Mark Richard) are employing a “taper” for this meet that they hope will produce some season-best times.
Scottsboro’s top squads in the important relay events are the 6-Under Girls, 9-10 Boys, 13-14 Girls and 15-18 Boys. The latter two squads have an outside shot at gold.