Truckee Tahoe Swim Team competes to help benefit Project MANA | SierraSun.com

Truckee Tahoe Swim Team competes to help benefit Project MANA

Dan IngallsProvided to the Sun

A clash of the titans in support of local hunger relief organization Project MANA provided priceless aquatic competition and entertainment for a positive cause at the Truckee Community Pool on Dec. 13.This inaugural event, called the Holiday Splash Swim Meet, was also a clash of the ages. Swimmers of all ages gathered with the common goal in mind to punish the competition. A clear point of motivation for many participants was taking on their parents.An unprecedented variety of swimmers from the Truckee Tahoe Swim Team and Truckee Masters, as well as lap swimmers, parents and family members, brought with them an entry fee of a food donation to benefit Project MANA (the acronym stands for Making Adequate Nutrition Accessible).Inherently competitive, all the swimmers were not to be outdone at the donation barrels. The entry fee was one can of non-perishable food for the swim meet.After watching one swimmers donation grow to three cans, some of the younger swimmers announced a new race was on. By the time the entry period was over, bags of food were being loaded into the donation barrels. In all, two barrels were filled and the meet was clear to start.Thirteen events were scheduled, ranging from a 50-yard freestyle to the meets longest race, the 500-yard freestyle.Putting aside their differences in terms of age and speed in two of the events, competitors joined forces in each of the two relays. The relays were not without drama or controversy. Two of the fastest swimmers in the pool tangled when Olympic gold medalist Debbie Meyers team fell behind that of nationally ranked Brant Allens. Actually, it was a display of fun and swimmer camaraderie when Meyer jumped in Allens lane just before he touched the wall at the end of the 4×50 freestyle relay. Allen was charging so hard to the wall that Meyers effort to delay his finish had no effect. Allens team of Molly Ingalls, Dustin McQuarry and Lin Zucconi took the victory.In all, two barrels were filled with food, athletic challenges were faced and the aquatic community of Truckee came together for the first Holiday Splash Swim Meet planned to be an annual event.With the cooperation of the Truckee-Donner Recreation andamp; Park District, Truckee Tahoe Swim Team, Truckee Masters and countless others, local people in need will have meals on the table. The difficult fiscal climate reaching so many has been eased somewhat by the collective efforts of these Truckee swimmers.