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Courtesy of John Boyd The West Virginia Wild, a local swim club operating out of the Tri-County YMCA, is sending four swimmers to represent the state in the Southern Zones Age Group Championships to be held at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary, North Carolina, from July 29 through Aug. 3.

SCOTT DEPOT — The West Virginia Wild, a local swim club operating out of the Tri-County YMCA, is sending four swimmers to represent the state in the Southern Zones Age Group Championships to be held at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary, North Carolina, from July 29 through Aug. 3. The meet is governed by USA Swimming.

The meet is a chance for the swimmers to compete with some of the top swimmers in the country ranging in ages from 11-18. They will compete against the best swimmers from the Southern Zone states which include Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee. Local swimmers compete and practice all year for an opportunity to attend this meet. A total of 48 swimmers from various clubs across the state will be making the trip.

The swimmers are coming off the West Virginia Long Course State Championships that were held last week in Beckley, West Virginia. The team was represented well as Maddie Foster, age 14, finished the meet third overall in the 13-14 age group and Bradley Boyd, 13, tied for top honors for his age in the state with first-place finishes in five events.

Boyd and Foster will be joined by John David Humphreys, 11, and Jacob Ranson, 17, as they travel to North Carolina to compete over the course of the week-long event. Humphreys is the youngest member of the squad who has competed all season with strong performances in the WV State Short Course Championships and Great Lakes Zone Meet at Ohio State University. Ranson placed fourth as a Junior with St. Albans in two events at the West Virginia High School State Meet.

The team is coached by Chris Rogers, who just finished up his inaugural season with the club.

"These kids work hard all season to be selected for this trip and it's great when they get to see all the long hours in the pool finally pay off with a chance to showcase their skills with the top kids from the other states in the zone," Rogers said.

"Swimming is a tough and demanding sport that rewards hard work and dedication. These swimmers have earned this opportunity and I'm sure this experience will be one they will always remember as they get to compete as a team with other swimmers across the state that they usually race against."

The meet is administered and officiated by USA Swimming, which is the governing body over the sport of swimming in the United States. The country is divided into four different zones. The Southern zone is comprised of 11 states and with multiple clubs located in each state.

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