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Outbreak sinks regional for qualified YMCA swimmers

Outbreak sinks regional for qualified YMCA swimmers
Press photos by John Burbridge
From left, Charles City YMCA Swim Club members Morgan Haus, Mallory Cook, Ryan Pavlovich and Matthew Du arrived for practice at the YMCA pool last Thursday to prepare for the YMCA Regional Meet they qualified for, but before they got into their swim suits they learned the meet had just been cancelled due to the coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak.

By John Burbridge

CHARLES CITY — Swimming is not an easy activity if you plan to do it competitively.

What usually keeps swimmers churning and paddling through the gut-wrenching water-resistance is marked improvement.

As a member of the Charles City YMCA Swim Team, Matthew Du has experience marked improvement throughout the season. And due to that effort, Du was initially granted the opportunity to continue his progress while having his season continued.

“I feel like I could have gotten even faster if I had the chance,” said Du, 8, of Charles City. “I was looking forward to swimming again.”

Du and fellow Charles City YMCA swimmers Ryan Pavlovich, 9, Mallory Cook, 11, and Morgan Haus, 16, all had qualified for the YMCA Regional Swim Meet that was supposed to take place this weekend in Des Moines.

All four were part of a 10-swimmer contingent representing the Y at the YMCA State Swimming Championships held last month at the Marshalltown YMCA due to their qualifying times.
Du and Pavlovich’s top time in the 50 breaststroke, Cook’s top time in the 50 freestyle and Haus’s PR in the 500 freestyle were also good enough for regional qualification.

Du, Pavlovich and Cook achieved their regional qualifying times during the season. Haus achieved hers at the state meet.

Unfortunately for the quartet, their extended season was abruptly cut short.

Just before the tsunami-like consequences of the coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak washed out spring sport seasons/events across the nation and world before they began and decimated ongoing sport seasons to a point of non-conclusion, the YMCA swimmers were among those hit by the first wave.

“I’m very disappointed,” said Haus, a veteran YMCA swimmer who also swims for Mason City High School during the fall.

The four had gathered at the Charles City YMCA pool last Thursday to train for the regional meet.

“But then I just found out they canceled the meet,” said YMCA head swim coach Lisa Adams. “We were just about ready to have practice, but now the season is over.

“I guess it’s all for the better, but it’s still a disappointment for the kids who worked so hard to qualify.”