The Ashland Area YMC will play host to the Kentucky Y Competitive Swim League Championships March 1-3, with some of the best swimmers in the state, ages 5 to 18, competing over the three-day meet.
AAYMCA head swimming coach Ryan Ferguson estimated that about 500 kids (and their families) will descend on Ashland to participate. Meets are divided by age groups, with kids 10 and under swimming in the mornings and those over 10 swimming in the afternoons, Ferguson said.
The public is welcome to attend and cheer on the AAYMCA Barracudas as they compete against teams from throughout the state, including swimmers representing YMCAs in Lexington, Louisville, Maysville, Paris and Richmond, Kentucky.
The meet is hosted by the Y but powered by volunteers – mostly swim parents – who make the event work. Local businesses, including many restaurants, will be providing food and beverage for the swimmers.
The Ashland Y has a strong team this year, with J.J. Holmes already committing to swim for the University of Louisville in the fall. Another AAYMCA swimmer will be entering the U.S. Navy with the ultimate goal of becoming a Navy Seal, Ferguson noted. A third graduating senior has signed to run Cross Country at Morehead State University. Kenzie Pennington, a AAYMCA Barracuda graduate from a few years back, has returned to the area and is serving as assistant coach to Ferguson.