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Stow alumni dive back into swimming

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Stow alumni meet
Former Stow swimmers Jacob Earle (2013), Alex Wentz (2010) and Greg Oneacre (2011) get on the blocks and ready to compete during the recent Alumni Meet.

STOW: There’s one swim meet each season where fun times are more important than fast times for many of the competitors.

About a dozen former Stow-Munroe Falls High School swimmers joined former teammates to compete against this season’s Bulldog swimmers at the Alumni Meet on Nov. 29 at Akron General Health & Wellness Center-North in Stow.

“It’s nice to be able to see some of the people you graduated with,” said Chelsea Simpson, a 20-year-old 2011 Stow graduate who now swims for Wilmington College.

“I miss the team here,” agreed Jacob Earle, 18.

Earle set the school record in the 100-yard breaststroke last season with a time of 59.95 seconds. The 2013 Stow graduate is swimming this season for the College of Wooster.

The Alumni Meet served as a reunion for former members of the Stow boys and girls swim and dive teams. The annual event also kicked off the new season for current swimmers, who started dual-meet competition the following week.

No matter how long it’s been since they competed, the alumni always seem to find a way to win some races, even if it means blatant false starts or swimming individual medley events relay-style.

“It’s great to get back in the water and to be humbled a little bit,” said Logan Gabriel, a 22-year-old 2010 Stow graduate who’s studying computer science at Miami University.

The former Stow boys team captain isn’t competing at the collegiate level, but he still has fond memories of his days as a swimmer.

“Swim team was some of the best times in high school,” he said.

His brother, Mason Gabriel, an 18-year-old 2013 Stow graduate and freshman at Miami University, also isn’t swimming in college but participated in the Alumni Meet to see former teammates.

His swims felt “a little sluggish,” he admitted with a laugh. “But it feels good.”

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