Middle School All-Star Swim Meet in Seoul Korea Creates Competitive Drama

Courtesy of Jason Van Galder

There is a vast body of water on earth that separates the North American and Asian Continents called the Pacific ocean. It takes up about a third of the size of earth (63.8 million square miles) in area, making it larger than all of the Earth’s land area combined. 

Off in a small corner, in the city of Seoul, South Korea, a quiet hum was heard this last month as the first Middle School All-Star meet, years in the making, tracked in Middle School swimmers from all over South Korea.

The Middle School swimmers of YISS and their hard work came to a testing point as Yongsan International School of Seoul hosted the first ever Middle school All-Star Championship where the elite boys and girls, from all over Korea and from the KAIAC International school league, converged in a highly tense and much anticipated show down.

The YISS kids had never been tested in this way as they had added pressure from the parents and classmates peering down from the spectator seating hanging over them at the pool.

And then it happened…

The echoing sound of the starters beep blasting loud as the backstrokers of the girls medley relays responded with an explosion off the walls rocketing underwater. WIth a few moments of silence the first girl pops up to commence her first stroke and then the second, third, and the rest…racing… not hearing the cheers and screams of their teammates.  With such single minded focus, one leg after another, until the final leg of the relay, the YISS girls raced to the finish to a school record breaking time and setting the first of many All-Star records.

The first relay set the tone for the rest of the meet, but not without challenge. The boys, absent several key swimmers, were challenged in every event. They had reason to be concerned as they played second fiddle to an outstanding SIS boys team, but something happened stepping into the last relay that no one saw coming.

Determined to finish strong, the first leg of the YISS boys 200 Free Relay went out with a bang and raced to an early lead. The second leg equalled the effort and built on the lead. SIS boys then came back with an outstanding performance in the third leg.  The Middle School season came to it’s finish, in that final leg, as the field of swimmers raced to the wall where our boys 200 Free Relay finished with a school record as the pool erupted in cheers!

The final outcome of the meet? The YISS MS Swim Team finished and kickstarted the first All-Star Championships by winning it!

1st:    YISS  806 
2nd:   SIS     667  
3rd:    KIS     316

The following girls won the Girls Overall Championships:
Rachel Kim
Rebecca Kim
Meredith Bacon
Yoona Choi
Jeri Kim
Jocelyn Ra
Lina Pak
Jiyu Shin
Kelly Yun
Yehjee Kim

School-wide Record:
Rebecca Kim (12 years old):  50 Fly

The following swimmers won their individual events:
Jeri Kim
Rebecca Kim
Yoona Choi

The following swimmers set YISS Records:
Kevin Rhee
Leo Mattos Brentano
Sebastian Elizondo
Hyunsue Kim
Jeri Kim
Kelly Yun
Jiyu Shin
Rebecca Kim

They say that sound travels through water faster than in air. To travel across a body of water as large as the Pacific would have to be of some significance. Today that noise has been heard.


Stay Tuned.


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somto Ibekwe
8 years ago

Good morning I’m somto from Nigeria I will love to come to county for swimming courses ? Sri I started swimming at age of 13.sir if I can be 1 of ur patispant .?

8 years ago

Way to go Tim! Good luck during the high school season! You’re really rockin’ that program! Beat SFS and be gentle with SAHS! ;-D

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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