At a glance ...
Craig Sea Sharks swimmers in the 1500m:
Matt Hulstine — 18:37.18
Eryn Leonard — 19:15.35
Marisa Hulstine — 26:25.55
Swimming long distances is not the type of thing people normally volunteer for.
Three members of the Craig Sea Sharks bucked that trend, choosing to do a 1,500-meter freestyle swim to kick off the ABC swim meet at the Craig Swimming Complex, 605 Washington St.
The meet began yesterday and featured events from the eight and under age group in the afternoon, but it started with the 1,500, which wasn’t scored for the team standings. Swimmers just had the option of doing it if they wanted.
Of the four swimmers that chose to take the plunge, three were Sea Sharks. Matt Hulstine,18, Eryn Leonard, 17, and Marisa Hulstine, 13, decided to dive in to challenge themselves and try to have some fun.
Matt Hulstine had qualified for the state competition in the 1,500 in the past by swimming a fast enough qualifying time at a state-sanctioned meet. But this was his first 1,500 in two years.
“Craig is just a fun meet for me so I just do it for the heck of it,” Hulstine said. “Just for fun. You feel like you’ve accomplished something after you’ve done it so that’s why I do it.”
It was also Leonard’s first 1,500 in awhile. She said she has started a sort of tradition at the ABC meet of doing the long swim to test herself. She was happier with her swim this year than last.
“I was a little bit nervous. Last year I didn’t do so good,” she said. “But I think I swam pretty good.”
For Marisa Hulstine, it was her first ever 1,500-meter. The 13-year-old completed the race in 26:25.55, and was worn out afterward. But she swam at a steady pace, with her final 100 meters just six seconds slower than her first 100.
“I got very tired it was kind of hard,” Marisa Hulstine said. “I just decided I wanted to swim it and have a challenge.”
Hulstine said despite the difficulty of the race, she thinks she will swim it again.
Leonard has a time good enough to qualify for the state event again this year, but said she is not sure if she will swim the 1,500 because of the other events she has qualified for and would prefer to swim competitively.
The ABC Swim meet continues today and Sunday, with events for age groups from nine years and up competing.
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