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July 23, 2019

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WOAL swim champs in Bluffton July 12-13

More than 500 swimmers and their families will descend on Bluffton

“We are expecting close to 3,000 people in Bluffton for the two-day event,” said Jennie Wilson, manager of the Bluffton pool and president of the Bluffton Sardines swim club.

More than 500 swimmers and their families will descend on Bluffton July 12-13, 2019 for the annual Western Ohio Aquatics League (WOAL) swim champs. The WOAL is for swimmers aged 4-18 who are members of one of the league’s teams.

Bluffton Community Swimming Pool is the host site for the 2019 swim champs and will host eight teams from Ada, Bluffton, Kenton, Shawnee Country Club, Sherwood, Wapakoneta, Westside and Van Wert. Teams will compete for the 2019 league title.

This is the first time in 20 years that the Sardines have been undefeated and the first time since being undefeated since joining the WOAL.

Events start at 9 a.m. on Friday, July 12, and will conclude around 2 p.m. Day two of champs will start at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 13, and will conclude around 3 p.m. The league champs will be crowned at the end of day two.

“We are expecting close to 3,000 people in Bluffton for the two-day event,” said Jennie Wilson, manager of the Bluffton pool and president of the Bluffton Sardines swim club.

“There is great energy behind swimming as a sport in our area and the summer league program is a great way to keep the swimmers active and competitive.” Each year the championships rotate between Bluffton, Kenton and Wapakoneta pools.

Teams have been competing against each other since early June. The Bluffton Sardines are the only undefeated team going into the 2019 champs. Last year, they finished third overall. Westside got first in 2019 and Wapakoneta, second. 

Many of the swimmers on all of the teams swim year-round for their local YMCA team. Some youth also swim for local USA Swimming teams and have qualified for Junior Olympics year after year. 

Local company and individual sponsors for the WOAL champs include: Lima Elks #54 for the awards, Chiles-Laman Funeral & Cremation Services for the memorial race, Grey’s Cappie Sportswear for award shirts and Patriot Concrete for heat winner prize. T-shirt sponsors include Kenn-Feld Group, LuLu’s Diner, Kelly’s Poco Loco, Orthodontic Associates, Quest Federal Credit Union, Orthopaedic Associates of Ohio, Rudolph Foods, Westgate Lanes, Precision Strip, Stoops Western Star of Ohio, Raabe Ford, Van Wert YMCA and Van Wert Marlin’s swim team.

Admission is free and open to the public. Food trucks and concessions will be available for food and beverage purchases.