KINGSPORT, Tenn. – Paige Skidmore became Midland University swimming’s first conference medalist over the weekend as the Warriors competed in the Mid-South Conference Championships at the University of the Cumberlands. Overall, Midland swimmers set 13 team records.
“I can’t say enough about what they did this weekend. They far exceeded my expectations and they far exceeded the expectations of any other team or coach on that pool deck as well,” Coach Ryan Bubb said. “The cool thing is everybody who went to the meet scored points. Every single swimmer scored points, which is exactly what you need from the team.”
Skidmore, who returned to competitive swimming after a two-year break, captured third place in the 200-yard breaststroke with a school-recording setting time of 2 minutes, 30.50 seconds. She also took fifth in the 100 breaststroke, and was named to the Academic All-Conference team and a Champions of Character nominee.
“She’s only been training five months,” Bubb said. “She took almost two years off before that, coaching, working and going to school. … It was a really special moment to share that with her. After her races she was just totally overcome with emotions.”
Also making it to the podium for the Warriors in their first conference meet were Tim Thies, who was fourth in the 200 freestyle; Matt Ginger, who finished sixth in the 100 breaststroke; the 400 medley relay team of Kaden Miller, Joseph Berrick, Carter Hites and Thies which finished fifth; the 200 medley relay team of Miller, Matt Ginger, Hites and Thies which finished fifth; and the 400 freestyle relay team of Miller, Berrick, Ginger and Thies which finished sixth.
Others setting school records were Skidmore in the 100 breaststroke and the 200 individual medley; Thies in the 200 freestyle; Hite in the 500 freestyle; Miller in the 200 backstroke; Ginger in the 100 breaststroke; Berrick in the 200 breaststroke and 200 individual medley; and the 400 medley relay, the 800 freestyle relay, the 200 medley relay and the 400 medley relay teams.
“It was the team that came together,” Bubb said. “Those who finished out the season saw the rewards of all their hard work coming to fruition. It was so cool because each and every one of those kids worked so hard this year to deserve the opportunity to swim at a high level at a conference championship meet. They were deserving of every little bit they got.”
The Warriors have about a month to prepare for the NAIA National Championships, which are March 1-3 in Columbus, Georgia. Midland has qualified all of its men’s relay teams, and Berrick, Ginger, Hites, Miller, Thies and Skidmore have qualified for individual events.