Allegan County News & Union Enterprise

Conrad earns two third-place finishes at Zones

By Jason Wesseldyk
Sports Editor

Elkhart, Ind.—The 14-U USA Swimming Central Zone Championships—held Aug. 4 to 7—featured some of the top youth swimmers from seven states.
It was easily the biggest, most talent-laden meet in which Allegan 12-year-old Cadel Conrad had competed.
But if he was nervous, Conrad did a good job hiding it.
A couple of third-place finishes—one in the 50 butterfly and one as a member of a 200 medley relay team—in the 11/12 age group highlighted a strong showing for the Allegan middle schooler.
“It was an amazing experience,” Conrad said. “I got to meet new people, swim with a big team and compete at a higher level. It was a lot of fun.”
The most fun Conrad had was the 200 medley relay, during which he swam the butterfly leg and posted a split time of 29.7.
“We just had a really fun time swimming that relay,” he said. “We were going crazy and celebrating after we finished third.”
In his individual butterfly, Conrad swam a 28.82, which marked an improvement of 1.53 seconds compared to his seed time.
“Getting third in that event was pretty amazing,” Conrad said.
Conrad also competing in the 50 freestyle—placing 12th with a time of 28.47—in addition to competing in two other relays: the 200 free and the 400 free. His team placed fourth in the 200 and 12th in the 400 free, while he turned in respective splits of 28.4 and 1:07.49.
Competing in such a big meet should only help Conrad as he continues with his swimming career.
“I now know what to expect and what to do, so that will definitely help if I get to compete at an even higher level,” he said. “It helped me understand expectations and get more experience swimming in a meter pool.”

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