This year marked the 51st Anniversary of the Amateur Athletic Union [AAU] Junior Olympics games. Over 430 swimmers traveled to the University of Oakland Natatorium, located outside of Detroit, Michigan. Simmers came from all over the United States to compete in the 2017 AAU Swimming National Championship portion of the games. Team Arkansas, the Arkansas National Team, was well represented by over 70 swimmers from all around the state.
Two of the Team Arkansas swimmers were from the Mena Barracudas swim team and each swimmer represented the community and state very well throughout the ultra-competitive meet. There can as many as 50 plus swimmers competing in the same individual event, at times only separated by less than a second. Swimmers are awarded points from placing in positions 1-8 (Medal) and 9-16 (Ribbon) in both individual and relay events.
Ranessa Ricker in the 11-12 girls division placed 7th in the 200 meter Freestyle relay with a time of 2:33.44 and 7th in the 200 meter Medley relay with a time of 3:14.16. Brendan Ricker competed in the 11-12 boys division and placed 2nd in the 200 meter Medley relay with a time total of 2:55.57 and 2nd in the 400 meter Medley relay with a time of 7:05.40. Brendan also placed 13th in the individual 100 meter Fly with a time of 2:08.06.
Team Arkansas competed at a high level, finishing 3rd overall out of 17 teams in attendance, with 2,753 points. This concludes another outstanding season for the entire Mena Barracuda swim team.