News: Butterfly stroke to victory: 3rd Radio Battalion dominates 101 Days of Summer Swim Meet
Story by Kristen Wong
MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII, Kaneohe Bay - Third Radio Battalion participants dominated the 101 Days of Summer Swim Meet with first place wins in eight categories at the base pool, June 29.
The unit took first place in all of the group medleys, while individuals
representing 3rd Radio Bn. won the 50-meter backstroke and butterfly categories. Headquarters Battalion, 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Radio Bn., Wounded Warrior Battalion West — Detachment Hawaii and Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 24 each made a splash during this annual event, which is part of the 101 Days of Summer program.
The program is dedicated to giving service members healthier alternatives to at-risk behavior such as drug or alcohol abuse. In the early morning, the base pool came alive with competitors
donning their swimsuits, caps and goggles.
“It’s the calm before the storm,” said Seth Bruckner, a competing swimmer with Combat Logistics Battalion 3. “I’ll probably finish average, or midway between the competitors.”
Before the competition started, some participants were already swimming laps and warming up.
“When you’re wearing a University of Michigan suit it’s a good indication he can swim,” said Charles Berglund, a competitor with CLB-3.
Berglund, who hasn’t swum in quite awhile, just started to pick up the activity again within the last four weeks, and competed in the 50-meter freestyle and 50-meter breaststroke events.
After Dino Leonard, Marine Corps Community Services Aquatics assistant manager, laid out the ground rules for the competition, the first heats began.
Fellow Marines, sailors and friends cheered as competitors splashed their way to the other end of the pool.
“It’s good to be back in the water again,” said John Irwin, a competitor with 12th Marine Regiment, who took third place in the 200-meter individual medley.
“It’s good to see everyone out doing all kinds of events for 101 Days of Summer,” Irwin said.
The competitors varied in skill level and how much time spent swimming on a normal basis.
Alex Hoyt, a competitor with 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, said competing in his first 101 Days of Summer Swim Meet overall was fun, though he rarely swims. Kirk Alvers, a competitor with 3rd Radio Bn., is a Marine Combat Instructor Water Survival instructor, and makes an effort to swim every day.
“Wish we had more time to rest in between,” Alvers said. “Water’s nice, sky’s nice, good day to swim.”
As soon as one heat was over, competitors walked back to other side of the pool for the next heat.
However, Marine spouse Kelly Howell, swam back to the other side after each heat. It was her method of “warming down.”
Howell, a swim coach, normally swims five times a week, though this was her first time competing in the 101 Days of Summer Swim Meet.
“[There are] lots of fast swimmers [at the meet],” Howell said. “I feel good. I usually do long distance [swims]. I’m not usually a sprinter.”
Howell took first place in the 200-meter individual medley. The morning ended with an awards ceremony for the top three competitors in each category.
Thomas Matters of 3rd Radio Bn. took first place in the 50-meter backstroke. Devin Phillabaum, a competitor with 3rd Radio Bn.,
took first place in the 50-meter butterfly. Clark Petersen of 1/12 took first place in the 50-meter freestyle. Ray Rich of Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 24 took first place in the 50-meter breaststroke.
“I am extremely proud of the performance set forth by all of our Marines,” said Andrew Heck, a competitor with 3rd Radio Bn. “Winning the relay events represents the strong unit cohesion felt within our battalion and displays the amount of effort many of our Marines put into aquatic conditioning. This swim meet was a great opportunity for all the battalions to compete against each other, while promoting physical fitness.”
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