By Michael Harrell: PNT Staff Writer
Local children and teens competed in an annual swim meet sponsored by the Portales Kiwanis Club at the Portales City Pool Wednesday afternoon. The event also included a coin diving competition and a watermelon picnic.
Nearly 100 participants took part in the event, according to Bill Wood, a member of the Kiwanis club.
The swimmers were divided into age groups — 10-and-under, 11-14 and 15-18. Each participant swam one heat in front crawl, back crawl and breast stroke. Every swimmer received a ribbon at the end of each heat with the place they finished on it.
“The club has been working with children for 53 years. This is something we like to do every summer,” Wood said.
After the races, the participants lined around the edge of the shallow end of the pool and dived for coins members of the Kiwanis club and pool employees were throwing into the water. Afterwards, the participants walked to the City Park where free watermelon awaited them.
Issac Pettit, a swimmer, proudly stated he found four quarters in the bottom of the pool.
“It was great,” he said, eager to get his own slice of watermelon.
“Most of the them are kids who regularly come to the pool,” said Tessa Smith, the pool’s assistant manager.
She said the Kiwanis club and the pool work together to run the event.
The Portales Kiwanis Club, which is a part of an international organization, hosts track and swim meets every year for area children. The club also supports charities and awards college scholarships, according to Wood.
Their next undertaking is a pet show at the Roosevelt County Fair in August.