The 2018 Southern Zones Age Group Championships were held a few weeks ago in Midland, Texas. Some of Florida’s top age group swimmers had the chance to compete representing either Florida Swimming or Florida Gold Coast. Florida Swimming took home the team title and Florida Gold Coast placed sixth out of thirteen teams from all across the south. Blue Wave Swimming’s Ryan Warmbier (who contributed to Florida Swimming’s victory with first place finishes in the 100 free, 400 free relay, 200 medley relay, and 200 free relay) shared his experience from the meet and what it was like being a member of the Florida Swimming Zone Team.

FSN: What was it like representing Florida Swimming at Zones?

Warmbier: “It was really enjoyable representing Florida Swimming. What I enjoyed most was all of the support we got. Even our bus driver threw on a Florida Swimming shirt and a shark head, then held up a Florida sign and cheered for us during our 200 free relay.”

FSN: How did you feel when you won the 100 free? How did it feel when Florida Swimming won the team title?

Warmbier: “I was surprised I won the 100 free, but I was really glad when Florida Swimming won. The coaches were crying and everyone was really excited. We all got to stand up on the podium as a team and take pictures with all of our medals that we won. It was really cool.”

FSN: What do you think made Florida Swimming different from the other teams?

Warmbier: “I think we were different from the other teams because we had the most people behind the blocks cheering for us during every swim. All the coaches made us stand up for every person that swam. Even if it wasn’t a big event, every swimmer in the water wearing a white cap had people standing up, watching them, and cheering them on.

FSN: What is your favorite memory from the meet?

Warmbier: “My favorite memory from Zones the last day of the meet. They put on a huge festival with food trucks everywhere. There was a huge inflatable water slide set up on the high dive. We all had a lot of fun with that”

Ryan, his Florida Swimming teammates, and Florida Gold Coast all did an excellent job representing our Florida swimming community. Congratulations to all Florida age group swimmers from both teams who participated at the 2018 Southern Zones Age Group Championships.

By Hanna Barton