By Nick Nunn

Staff Writer

“We should have charged for parking,” said Lance Alexander, Director of the Morgan County Recreation Department (MCRD), as he pulled up to the Morgan County Aquatic Center Saturday morning to see the parking lot full of vehicles.

Swimmers and parents from several Georgia counties crowded into the Aquatic Center while the rains fell on Saturday in order to compete and watch the 2013 Georgia Recreation and Park Association (GRPA) Sixth District Class A/B/C Championships.

The sheer size of the crowd the event pulled into the Aquatic Center was almost overwhelming, especially when excited shouts from parents and coaches sonically filled the space during races.

Nevertheless, members of the MCRD were able to keep the event running smoothly throughout the day.

“We knew the meet would be big and prepared accordingly,” said Andy Dunston, Director of the Aquatic Center and head coach of the Morgan County Marlins swim team. “I was expecting around 300 swimmers total and spectators in the 700 range; though I don’t have an exact number I would estimate that there were about 1,000 people here on Saturday.”

“I think we handled the event very well considering we are not a facility designed to handle that large of a crowd. Flow of traffic through the facility and spectator space were our biggest limitations, and we will just have to brainstorm and find innovative ways to handle these restrictions,” continued Dunston, indicating that that planning process for next year is already underway.

As a whole, the Marlins swam well against their Sixth District competitors; all 27 athletes swimming for the Marlins during the meet placed in the third position or higher, earning them the chance to compete in the GRPA B/C State Championship, which will take place in Tifton July 19-20.

GRPA District Meet Marlins’ Results

25-yard Butterfly

McKenna Friesen, 1st (Girls 7-8)

25-yard Freestyle

Colton Patterson, 1st (Boys 7-8)

50-yard Freestyle

Will Furr, 2nd (Boys 7-8)

25-yard Breaststroke

Colton Patterson, 1st (Boys 7-8)

25-yard Freestyle

Smith Cathey, 1st (Girls 9-10)

Riley Friesen, 2nd, (Girls 9-10)

25-yard Butterfly

Riley Friesen, 1st (Girls 9-10)

50-yard Freestyle

Smith Cathey, 1st (Girls 9-10)

50-yard Breaststroke

Cassidy Robinson, 2nd (Girls 11-12)

50-yard Backstroke

Skylar Patterson, 1st (Girls 11-12)

100-yard Individual Medley

Skylar Patterson, 1st (Girls 11-12)

50-yard Freestyle

Hunter Prince, 2nd (Boys 11-12)

Mary Claire Cardwell, 1st (Girls 13-14)

Zac Seymour, 1st (Boys 13-14)

50-yard Butterfly

Hunter Prince, 1st (Boys 11-12)

Zac Seymour, 1st (Boys 13-14)

Carolina Zant, 1st (Girls 13-14)

50-yard Backstroke

Mary Claire Cardwell, 1st (Girls 13-14)

Justyn Patterson, 1st (Boys 15-18)

50-yard Breaststroke

Carolina Zant, 1st (Girls 13-14)

100-yard Freestyle

Lauren Bernard, 1st (Girls 13-14)

David Otalora-Garcia, 1st (Boys 13-14)

100-yard Individual Medley

Lauren Bernard, 1st (Girls 13-14)

For more photos of the meet, click here.