Scottsboro Swim Association heads to the Alabama Recreation and Parks Association’s State Swimming Championships today and Saturday in Birmingham as the defending small town state champions. But it is a title they won’t be able to repeat.
A new ARPA classification system is being implemented this year, based on team size, not town population. As a result, SSA will be considered a “large” team and will compete against much bigger cities.
Preliminary seedings suggest that defending large town champion Madison will repeat and Auburn will finish 2nd among large teams and that Scottsboro will battle Dothan and several others for third-place honors.
SSA’s swimmers are well positioned to do just that.
Individually, Maggie Ella Robbins is the top seed in the 11-12 Girls 50-yard Breaststroke, 50 Fly and 100 Freestyle, although she will be challenged seriously for the first time all summer.
Ryder Linville has a chance to stake his claim as the top 6-U boy in the state with top seeds in the 25 Freestyle and 25 Backstroke, as well as the third seed in the 8-Under Breaststroke.
Kyle Vosen will also receive his first serious challenges of the summer. Vosen is narrowly seeded first in the 15-18 Boys 100 Individual Medley but is seeded second in the 50 Breaststroke and 100 Freestyle.
Bethany Dugan, the surprise winner at the district championships, will be pushed to defend her top seed in the 15-18 Girls 50 Backstroke.
Medals are awarded through sixth-place at state. Among the other SSA swimmers with a strong chance of earning one or more medals are Izzy Nelson, Les White, Lily Turlington, Grayson Gattis, Noah Linville, Zach Beason, Baylie Giles, Ben Gossett, Kyla Reichle, Ayden Mashburn, Craft Sanders and Zach Strogov.
SSA has multiple highly seeded relay teams as well, including top seeds for the 8-Under Boys Medley Relay (Mashburn, Linville, Sanders and Strogov) and 15-18 Boys Freestyle Relay (Vosen, Beason, Cole Cooper and Tony Pereira).
Scottsboro has two relay squads each seeded second, third and fourth as well. In addition, state rules allow a team’s “B” relays to score points, and SSA has multiple “B teams” who will do just that.