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Pictured L to R: Augen Woods, Brenden Ricker, Tabitha Levering, Matthew Nance, Emily Sorge. Not Pictured: Josie Scott and Taylor Heifner

Mena Barracudas Swim for Team Arkansas at the 50th Annual 2016 AAU Junior Olympics

This year marked the 50th anniversary of the AAU Junior Olympic Games. Over 540 swimmers traveled to the Pearland Natatorium, located outside of Houston, Texas. Swimmers came from all over the United States to complete in the 2016 AAU Swimming National Championship portion of the games.

Team Arkansas was well represented by over 110 swimmers from all around the state and they were very competitive throughout the four-day meet. Seven of the Team Arkansas swimmers were from the Mena Barracuda Swim Team and each swimmer represented both our community and state very well throughout this ultra-competitive meet. There can be as many as 50+ swimmers competing in the same individual event, at times only separated by less than a second. Swimmers are awarded points for placing in positions 1-8 (medal) and 9-16 (ribbon) in both individual and relay events.

8 & Under Boys – Auden Wood placed 4th in the 200m freestyle relay and 10th in the 200m medley relay.

9 & 10 Boys – Brenden Ricker placed 11th in the 50m breaststroke, 11th in the 100m breaststroke, 13th in the 200m IM, 14th in the 100m butterfly, and 5th in the 200m medley relay.

11 & 12 Girls – Josie Scott placed 6th in the 50m breaststroke, 6th in the 100m breaststroke, 8th in the 400m freestyle, 2nd in the 200m freestyle relay, 3rd in the 400m freestyle relay, 4th in the 200m medley relay, and 9th in the 400m medley relay.

13 & 14 Girls – Tabitha Levering placed in the 400m, freestyle relay and 13th in the 400m medley relay.

13 & 14 Boys – Matthew Nance placed in the 400m medley relay, 7th in the 200m freestyle relay, 8th in the 200m medley relay & 8th in the 400m freestyle relay.

15-18 Girls – Emiley Sorge placed 12th in the 200m medley relay, 12th in the 400m freestyle, and 14th in the 200m freestyle relay.

15-18 Girls – Taylor Heifner placed 8th in the 200m butterfly, 9th in the 1500m freestyle, 10th in the 400m freestyle relay, 12th in the 400 medley relay, 12th in the 200m freestyle relay, and 12th in the 200m medley relay.

Team Arkansas finished 2nd over all out of 20 teams that were named 2016 AAU Swimming National Champion runner-up. This concludes another outstanding season for the entire Mena Barracuda Swim Team and all are looking forward to next season and the positive experiences swimming will bring each summer.

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