When you're a child the world is wide open, the possibilities endless, the dreams limitless! I had serious ambitions to be a cowgirl, (I loved horses and handsome cowboys) a doctor, (I wanted to cure children's cancer, after learning that most children diagnosed with it back then died) a teacher, (I don't know what I was thinking).

Then during the tragic 1972 Summer Olympics, I fell in love with a gorgeous swimmer named Mark Spitz (That's him in yellow above and doing the butterfly at the '72 Olympics. Yes, I still have a thing for dark-haired guys with mustaches and beards). He won 7 gold medals that summer in Munich.

As a person who was always more comfortable in the water, swimming, than on land doing- - anything, (at that time) I thought I might pursue swimming as a profession. Feel free to laugh, I know I am!

The fact that we lived in South Dakota, in a small city with no indoor pool facilities, had a lot to do with that dream falling by the wayside. Or maybe it was the discipline, or the hours you were supposed to spend actually swimming, instead of splashing around and having fun.

Maybe it was because I was a short, round Italian kid with a greater desire for pasta, acting, and singing, than Olympic gold medals. Who knows? What I do know is I still love the sport of swimming, doing it, and watching it.

If that describes you, you'll be happy to hear that the 2019 South Dakota State Swimming Championships will be here in Sioux Falls, at the Midco Aquatic Center this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, March 1 and 2. 400 State A qualifying athletes, representing 15 teams from across the state will be participating.

This is the schedule:

  • 8:30 AM - Friday-Saturday-Sunday Prelim Sessions (11 & Over)
  • 5:00 PM - Friday-Saturday-Sunday Final Sessions
  • (11 & Over) 1:00 PM - Saturday-Sunday Timed Final Sessions (10 & Under)

On Saturday evening from 4:30 to 6 PM there will be celebrity lane timers including, Mayor Paul Ten Haken, our friend Shawn Cable from KSFY-TV, Congressman Dusty Johnson, Nate Gerry from the Philadelphia Eagles and Augie president Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin.

There is no admission. You are invited to come, cheer on all the swimmers, and bring your kids; they're probably still dreaming about what they want to be when they grow up!


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