The premier summer swimming competition in Indiana was in Seymour’s backyard.

Packed to the brim with swimmers, families and coaches from across the state, Shield’s Park Pool hosted the 25th annual Pepsi Plunge this past weekend.

The three-day USA Swimming event, which started July 10, is considered one of the most highly toted youth swimming competitions in the state.

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This year 717 swimmers took to the pool, setting a record.

For Seymour, 45 kids tested their skills in the water in hopes of making it to the next level.

Varsity Owls swimming coach Dave Boggs headed the event with his wife, Chris.

“The results are all objective, not subjective,” Dave Boggs said. “The scoreboard doesn’t lie. As long as you have a qualifying cut, you’re in. This was the last chance for cuts. The kids usually have their fastest times at this meet. We rest and taper in preparation for this meet.”

Dave and Chris started the event in 1990 with 325 swimmers. Following the inaugural competition, 525 came for the second year’s meet.

Since, the event has grown tremendously. The pool now holds the maximum capacity for the event.

“We had 715 last year; this is the most we’ve ever had here,” Dave Boggs said. “The atmosphere here is good. It’s a great experience to be here.”

Jack Land, 11, said he has swam since he was five and always swims in the Pepsi Plunge.

“I get to compete against other kids and it’s exhilarating,” Land said. “My favorite part is doing meets. It takes a lot of hard work. I think I did really well this year.”

Ben Vorthmann, 10, qualified for the 2015 Indiana Swimming Age Group Long Course Championships, set for July 24 to 26 at the IU Natarioum at IUPUI, in the 50-meter freestyle, 100 free, 200 free, 50 butterfly, 100 backstroke and 100 butterfly.

“I like (the Pepsi Plunge) because it’s my home meet,” Vorthmann said. “It’s fun competing with all these good swimmers because I have someone to race compared to smaller meets.”

Vorthmann claimed first in the 50 backstroke, 50 free and 200 individual medley at the plunge.

Joining Vorthmann at the state level competition is 10-year-old Olivia Fish.

Fish qualified in the 50 breaststroke, 50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 200 individual medley and 50 backstroke.

“I went to state this past winter, it was awesome,” Fish said. “The meet was big and fun. You drop a lot of time. You wouldn’t know how you would drop time it just happened.

“(The Pepsi Plunge) is the best because it’s at home in my pool. It’s a lot better than all the other places I swim at.”

She placed second in three events this past weekend.

This upcoming weekend, three high schoolers will attend the 2015 Indiana Swimming Senior Long Course Championships at Indiana University: Kenzie Persinger, Katie Turner and Noah Bullard.

Persinger will swim the 50 and 100 free, 100 breaststroke and 200 individual medley.

For Turner, her skills will be tested in the 100 backstroke and 100 free.

Bullard will represent the boys in the 100 breaststroke and 100 free.

“Our kids look forward to (the Pepsi Plunge) and I’ve heard comments from other teams that they can’t wait to come here,” Dave Boggs said. “A lot of the kids from here say they would rather finish their season here than at senior state.”

The event, which was outdoors, is unique since most meets are indoors.

“It really runs pretty smooth, all-in-all,” Chris Boggs said. “It’s a lot of work but a lot of fun. The surrounding teams always talk about his meet.”

The Boggs encourage any kids to join the swimming program. The event had swimmers from kindergarten to Grade 12.

“A lot of kids will start late, in middle school, and come out and become great swimmers for us,” Dave Boggs said. “We encourage anyone to come out and swim because you never really know what you’re capable of until you try. We’ll take anyone willing to learn and will help them become great swimmers.”

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