Iola does swimmingly as host


July 30, 2010 - 12:00 AM

Kudos to Iola Recreation Department, the Iola Municipal Pool staff and the Iola Swim Team  — swimmers, coaches and parents.
For the first time in the Iola Swim Team’s history, it hosted and held a SEK Swim Team League Championships meet. And it went on without a hitch. Well, a couple things happened that were beyond their control  — heat and early-evening thunderstorm.
“Our people did a great job before the meet, during and after it. We heard only good things from coaches and people who were at the meet,” said Luke Bycroft, Iola recreation director.
“It was definitely a good thing for the community in general. The event brought around 1,500 or more people to Iola last Saturday and then because of the storm some of those came back on Sunday morning to finish the meet,” he said.
Bycroft said he did a quick count as he drove back through Riverside Park during the swim meet and counted 395 vehicles in the meet area.
He said Iola High School’s junior class, which had one of two concession stands, “did well and we sold a lot of league swim meet T-shirts.”
“Nothing is going to go perfect and we did learn a few things but overall, it ran smoothly,” Bycroft said.
The Iola “crew” put up tents and canopies to held shade the eight swim teams and spectators around Iola Municipal Pool. There were over 400 swimmers involved from ages 4 to 18.
“We had a lot of compliments on our pool and facility and how we had things set up here. With that we’re hoping this experience could provide opportunities for us to hold the league again, as soon as next year,” Bycroft said.
“Erie is the league meet host in 2011 but they don’t have a facility to hold it in Erie. They will be looking to host the meet at another town’s pool and that could be us.”
Iola hosted the 2003 SEK league meet at Coffeyville.
Iola had to deal with a thunderstorm that rolled through the area around 6 p.m. Saturday. Bycroft and others were watching weather radar far ahead of that time. He said it had been predicted for a storm to come though earlier in the day.
“We kept checking the radar all day. We really started watching closely 5:30-6 o’clock. When we saw consistent lightning in the area, we put a hold on the meet hoping it would go through quickly. Thirty minutes at the most.”
The storm did not move quickly and as per SEK league bylaws, meet director Phyllis Nelson made the call that the final two hours of competition would start at 9 a.m. Sunday. Bycroft said even before the stoppage, the Iola workers “did a great job of packing up things before it got difficult.
“We had a great group of workers from here and the other teams throughout the meet. It was a great event for us.”

KANSAS CITY ROYALS. And the beatings go on.
After coming off their road trip, the Royals imploded. A sweep including back-to-back record breaking losses to the Minnesota Twins then an extra-inning, one-run  loss to the worst team in Major League Baseball so far this season, Baltimore on Thursday. For the record, Kansas City does have more wins than four other teams in the majors.
It is becoming harder and harder to be a Royals fan.
On talk-radio Thursday, I heard explanation after explanation of why Kansas City made the trades they did. They sent Alberto Callaspo to the Los Angeles Angels. They just traded leadoff hitter Scott Podsednik to Los Angeles Dodgers.
Next name bantered around before trade deadline is Jose Guillen.
We’ve been hearing about “the big picture” and “the future of this organization” and “where we want to go.” Well, I thought every team wanted to go up the standings and vie for championships.
It’s so painful to watch or even listen. We’re not playing very good baseball. We lost the game Thursday against Baltimore. The Orioles did not win the game. We made fielding errors and base running errors.
“We got good young players” in the trades. They throw things out like “our farm system and we need our guys (from our farm system) here. That’s how we will contend.”
Not working guys. Case in point — Alex Gordon, a Royals’ draft pick, has been up and down. Up to the majors playing for the Royals then not producing back down he goes to the minors. Gordon is back to the Royals this week after producing in the minors.
We have injury after injury. The Royals lost David DeJesus to a thumb injury he suffered on a hustle play against the outfield fence at Yankee Stadium. Pitchers have gone out — big contract Gil Meche is out for the season.
Again late July and the Royals’ organization throws in the towel for the season, becoming a farm system team for the rest of Major League Baseball.

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