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Columbia athletes discuss benefits of swimming

Saturday, August 2, 2008 | 8:17 p.m. CDT; updated 8:53 p.m. CDT, Saturday, August 2, 2008
Danielle Meloy, of the Warrensberg Piranhas, swims the backstroke in the Individual Medley on Friday at the Show-Me State swim meet.

COLUMBIA - Colin Cosby, 12, of Mexico, Mo., sat in the bleachers Friday at the Mizzou Aquatic Center with his towel around him and his goggles resting on top of his swim cap. He had just placed second in his age division in the Show-Me State Games' 100-meter individual medley for the Marlins swim team.

Colin, who was also set to compete in the 200-meter freestyle event, said he enjoys swimming for a team because he likes being at all of the different swim meets with his friends It also helps him overcome his asthma.

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"Being underwater helps strengthen my lungs," Colin said.

He said swimming also helps train his legs for soccer and makes him more active.

Columbia's Tom Ragsdell said he sees extra benefits to swimming. Ragsdell, 39, swam in the 100-meter individual medley and the 100-meter freestyle. It was his second year competing in the games' swimming events.

"Swimming helps me stay in shape and brings back memories," said Ragsdell, a former MU swimmer who sai`d he returned to the sport for exercise and because his children are involved in the Columbia Swim Club. He said he also participates in triathlons and is a pastor at New Life Community Church.

Ragsdell said he liked how the divisions were formed so that older swimmers could compete against younger competitors. He got to compete against men who were in their 20s.

"I feel like I'm young when getting into the water," Ragsdell said.

 


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