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Kanab swimmers take first at Kanab Invitational

Five swim teams from southern Utah and surrounding areas met at the Kanab City Pool to compete in the Kanab Invitational Swim Meet on Saturday, July 9. The Kanab Bull Sharks, Fredonia Killer Whales, Hurricane Tiger Sharks, Dixie Trailblazers and Mesquite Manta Rays all came to town ready to dive in.

Robert Capson comes up for a breath during his butterfly race in the Kanab Invitational swim meet on Saturday, July 9. Photo by Houston Brown.

Swimmers had to arrive by 7 a.m. that morning, to check in and get their race assignments, where swimmers were assigned approximately five races each.

The meet takes a lot of work and organization to execute, and many parents volunteer to help assign swimmers their races, run the stop clocks and man the bullpen where swimmers gather before it’s their turn to race.

Eva Raddatz is the fearless coach of the Kanab Bull Sharks, who train every weekday morning at the Kanab City Pool. There are four different classes Raddatz coaches each morning from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., with the most advanced swimmers kicking off the practices with the first time slot in the cool dawning hours. The Bull Sharks have a whopping total of 118 swimmers ranging in age from five – 18 years old.

The red rock backdrop was a pretty picturesque location to host the Kanab Invitational, held on Saturday, July 9. Five swim teams came to town to compete in the event. Pictured above are swimmers competing in one of the backstroke races. Photo by Houston Brown.

The Kanab Bull Sharks weren’t afraid to kick it into high gear during the Kanab Invitational on their home turf and keep the other teams at bay, as they glided their way into finishing overall with first place honors. Races included freestyle, freestyle relay, butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, individual medley and medley relay.

These swimmers have been hard at work since summer kicked off the beginning of June, have attended two swim meets thus far in Mesquite and St. George, and have one more meet in Hurricane on July 16, before preparing for the championship held at Utah Tech University on July 29 and 30. Accommodating five swim teams and all of their accompanying spectators in 100 degree temperatures is no easy feat, and the phenomenal management of the Kanab City Pool did an excellent job of making it possible with what the facility has to offer. Perhaps this calls for even more need of a community rec center where a full lap pool could be put in place for this growing group of swimmers, where they can continue to host swim meets at an even larger capacity in the future.

Watch your back while you’re swimming at the city pool this summer; you might just fi nd yourself surrounded by some speedy Bull Sharks!

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