OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) - Opelika Parks and Recreation's Swim Team brought home 47 medals from the Alabama Recreation and Parks Association State Swim Meet this past weekend.
The 2016 State Swim Meet was held at the Birmingham Crossplex and featured 1,100 swimmers from all over the state of Alabama.
The Opelika Swim Team won 1st in four events, 2nd in nine events, 3rd in seven events, 4th in nine events, 5th in five events and 6th in three events. They placed 7th overall out of 32 teams.
"I am really proud of the way our team performed this year," said Mandy Johnson, aquatics director. "We were up against teams with 100 swimmers compared to our team of 50, so to finish 7th overall was a huge accomplishment for our small town."
The Opelika Swim Team took the same amount of swimmers to the State Swim Meet last year and brought home 20 medals compared to this year's 47. Most of their swimmers were seeded in the top heats as well.
Johnson said she credits this year's success to swimmers competing year round and swimming on their USA Swim Team. Swimming year round helped the team's 8 and under girls become the "stars of the team" by placing 2nd and 3rd in the medley relay and placing 2nd and 4th in the freestyle relay. They also placed in the top 5 in all of their individual events.
Johnson always tries to facilitate play time for the team to take the edge of what can be a stressful weekend for young athletes.
"This year we took the kids to Chucky Cheese for a night," said Johnson. "It's a big reward at the end of the year for kids to go to state swim meet and spend the whole weekend with their family and their team and just have a good time. It's fun to see all of their hard work come together and celebrate their success."