CHIEF LOGAN STATE PARK — More than 350 swimmers, their parents and a United States senator packed into the Chief Logan Rec Center swimming pool area for the Mountain State Athletics Conference swim meet on Saturday.
Swimmers, parents and coaches made it a packed pool house at the MSAC conference meet.
Swimmers from 11 schools — George Washington High School, Huntington High, Hurricane, Cabell Midland, Capital, Woodrow Wilson, South Charleston, Nitro, Parkersburg, Spring Valley and Winfield — competed in the meet, which was moved from the University of Charleston swimming pool due to the recent chemical spill that forced the university to drain the pool. There wasn’t enough time to allow the temperature to reach the necessary 80 degrees, so the meet was moved to the Chief Logan Rec Center, which has an Olympic-sized, eight-lane swimming pool.
Joining Rec Center Board President Wally Thornhill and Director Terry Mullins was U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, who was down in the coalfields on Saturday.
Manchin, as governor, was instrumental in getting the Chief Logan Rec Center built.
Manchin told Thornhill and Mullins how pleased he was to see so many people using the Chief Logan Rec Center.
“This is great,” he said, as he, Thornhill and Mullins watched swimmers. The senator also mingled with the large crowd and chatted with parents and coaches.
Mullins said she was very pleased with the event. She got the call only 11 days before the meet and had to rush to get everything set up.
Thornhill said he was glad to see so many people crowding into the pool area.
The deck area was nearly standing room only.
GW parent Randy Peyatte said he loves the Chief Logan Rec Center and hopes to have more swim meets here.
“It’s fantastic,” Peyatte said. “I believe it’s one of the best venues we have swam and I’m comparing it to Marshall and WVU. It’s state-of-the art with plenty of room for the swimmers, parents, vendors and concessions. It’s great.”
GW Coach Melissa Case worked with Mullins on the swim meet and she said the pool where they usually hold the MSAC swim meet — at the University of Charleston — had to be drained due to the recent chemical spill that caused around 300,000 residents in nine counties to be without water for more than a week. After the pool was refilled, the temperature was coming up only about three to four degrees a day, which was not quick enough to get it to the 80 degree necessary for the swim meet. Case said the temperature on Wednesday was 56 in the pool and wouldn’t reach 80 in time to hold the swim meet there.
So, the MSAC swim meet was relocated to the Chief Logan Rec Center pool.
Case said she is glad to be swimming again at the rec center pool. She coached her team in a swim meet there two years ago and said she likes the facilities.
For more information on the Chief Logan Rec Center pool or for more information on the activities and facilities the rec center offers, call the Chief Logan Rec Center at 304-855-8591.