The Newport Swim Team put on quite a regional swim invitational team meet this weekend with over 250 competing swimmers giving it their all in front of their families, coaches as well as their colleagues in the other teams. The Seahorse Invitational 2013 is held under the sanction of USA Swimming.
And when the final tally was made, out of 12 teams from throughout northern Oregon, the Newport Team came in 3rd overall beating out such teams as Rose City Aquatic Club, Lake Oswego Swim Club, Tillamook YMCA Sharks, Sherwood Dragons, Hood River Swim Team, The Dalles Swim Team and Woodburn.
Standouts for the Newport Seahorses were sisters Chyanna and Shannon Blackburn, both improving their performances as well as Jason Flaming.
The Seahorse Team performance was notable for the fact that they placed so high in the rankings, beating out a number of other teams which draw from a much larger talent pool, not to mention population base. Seahorse organizers say it’s their strong coaching staff and the individual attention given to our young Newport swimmers at the Newport Pool that makes all the difference. Several competing coaches mentioned they knew that Newport voters will be considering a tax bump to build a new Newport municipal pool since the current one is over a half-century old and is on its last legs. They expressed hope that the voters will understand that swimming is a very strong family oriented sport and that with a pool so close to the end of its service life a new pool is definitely needed. And the fact that over this last weekend alone, 500 people booked hotel and motel rooms, filled local restaurants and other tourist venues, it’s always good for the local economy.
Seahorse mainstay Stephanie Simpson said she hopes that 2010’s near miss will produce a decisive yes vote in November not only for Newport’s children and business community but for the area’s seniors who enjoy physical fitness programs at the pool, which otherwise would be not available to them in other exercise programs. She says the current pool could last a bit longer, but then it might not due to its age – being planned for and built in the early 60’s when John F. Kennedy was still President.