Ward springs to fast start as competitive swimmer

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 4, 2000

Six-year-old Margaret Ward had never entered a competition before participating in the Vicksburg River City Classic this weekend.

You can make sure members of the Natchez Swim Association team make sure she doesn’t miss too many more.

Ward earned high-point honors (50) in the 6-under division after claiming two first place finishes and a second place.

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Ward won the 25-breaststroke in a time of 27.13 and also captured the 25-butterfly in 30.78.

She was second in the 25-freestyle at 24.70 and fourth in the 25-breaststroke at 47.19.

&uot;Ms. Tammy (Whittington, Natchez Swim Association coach) invited me so I just tried it out,&uot; said Ward, who joined the team last September. &uot;I just got out there and swam.&uot;

Ward, the daughter of George and Iva Ward, had to overcome one fear to join the swim team.

&uot;I was scared of getting my hair wet,&uot; she said.

&uot;That was the one reason we wanted her on the swim team,&uot; Iva said. &uot;She likes to say she’s scared of things, but we can relate this to other things in the future. I think one reason she did so well is that she was scared of coming in last.&uot;

Iva said she and George were surprised by their daughter’s showing Friday.

&uot;They told us she was swimming good, but we were very surprised with how well she did,&uot;&160;she said. &uot;Tammy has really done a good job with her.&uot;

Margaret said she enjoys swimming the breaststroke.

&uot;It’s like a frog stroke,&uot; she said.

Ward wasn’t the only Natchez swimmer earning honors.

Katie Steele, competing in 6-under, won the 25-freestyle in 22.91 and was fourth in the 25-backstroke at 28.67.

Also in 6-under, Taylor White was fourth in the 25-butterfly and fifth in the 25-freestyle.&160;She also finished seventh in the 25-backstroke.

The 8-under girls relay team of Amanda Moak, Taylor Bowling, Whitney Katherine Timm and Steele finished fourth.

Luke Wilson was sixth in the 100-individual medley in 8-under boys and seventh in 25-backstroke. He also placed 10th in the 25-freestyle and 25-butterfly.

Competing in 10-under competition Saturday were Lessa McManus and Stephanie Eames. Senior girls competing for Natchez are Haley Whittington, Courtney Timm, Ashley Timm, Johnathan Elliott and Patrick O’Hanlon.

The swim team will compete in Cleveland next weekend. Anyone interested in swimming with the Natchez Swim Association team can call Tammy Whittington at 445-4169.