2019 marked the 53rd anniversary of the AAU Junior Olympic Games. On July 25-28, over 510 swimmers traveled from across the United States to the Greensboro Coliseum Complex Aquatic Center located in Greensboro. Athletes were set to compete in the AAU swimming national championship portion of the games.
Team Arkansas, Arkansas National team, was well represented by over 60 swimmers from across the state and were very competitive throughout the four-day meet. Two of the Team Arkansas swimmers were from the Mena Barracuda Swim Team. All swimmers represented both our state and their communities very well throughout this ultra-competitive meet.
At times, as many as 70+ swimmers competed in the same event, with less than a 10th of a second separating event swim times. Swimmers were awarded points for placing in positions 1-8 (medal) and 9-16 (ribbon) in both individual and relay events.
Ranessa Ricker, swimming in her second Junior Olympic games, placed 6th in the 400m Medley Relay; 9th in the 400 Freestyle Relay; and 11th in the 200m Individual Fly.
Brenden Ricker, swimming in his fifth Junior Olympic games, placed 7th in the 400m Freestyle Relay; 7th in the 200m Medley Relay; and 15th in the 200m Individual Breaststroke.
Team Arkansas finished in 3rd place over all, out of 16 teams, which was outstanding considering the level of competition. This concludes another successful season for the entire Mena Barracuda Swim Team. We are all looking forward to next season and the positive experiences swimming provides us each summer.