By Debra Moore
The weather was hot and so was the competition at the 2023 Plumas Rapids Open swim meet held at Pioneer Pool in Quincy this past weekend July 15-16.
A record-breaking 335 swimmers from 18 teams across the North State competed in the two-day meet. Events ranged from a 25-yard freestyle for younger swimmers, to the 200-yard individual medley.
The Plumas Rapids Swim Team placed 5th overall with standout performances from Carter Petersen and Aiden Vaughn who each received second-place High Point trophies for their age groups. Carter’s younger sister, Quincy, placed fourth overall for her age group, and Magali Nielsen placed fifth in hers.
Top team honors were taken by the Durham Dolphins, followed by Susanville’s Lassen Volcanoes and the Orland Otters.
The duo of Matt Warren and Matthew Kitchens announced the events, which was no simple task when there are 50 races, each with multiple heats. They announced the swimmers, lane assignments, upcoming events and winners, along with public service announcements about staying hydrated, the silent auction, hospitality tent, breakfast and lunch options and more.
It takes a community effort to support an event such as this, and Plumas Rapids received donations from 73 local businesses with the announcers giving a shout-out to them multiple times.
Each day’s swim got underway with a performance of the National Anthem — by Lucius Kitchens on Saturday and The Dregs (Adria Black, Claire Hinds, Leah Hinds) accompanied by Johnene McDonald of Face the Music Studio, on Sunday.
Swim meet Director Kirsten Bovee said she was overwhelmed by the participation and support of this year’s swim meet. It takes a small army of people to prepare and serve the breakfast and lunches, run the silent auction table, pass out the heat ribbons at the winner’s table, work the concession stand, push the hospitality cart around, coordinate camping and more.
Bovee said that the Great Ryanaldi kept the swimmers entertained with magic tricks, and there was a bit of drama when a snake made its way into the pool. But swimmer Carter Petersen came to the rescue and quickly removed it.
Special thanks go out to Plumas Rapid coaches: Paul Vaughn, Christianna Nielsen and Eli Lund.
The event which was held at the Pioneer Pool, spilled over into the fairgrounds, which was filled with swimmers and their families camping out for the long weekend, and even though it was hot in Quincy, it provided a bit of respite for many coming from the valley. One Gridley parent shared that she wished that she and her family could move to the area. “We just love it here,” she said.