The student news site of Little Rock Central High School

The Tiger Online

The student news site of Little Rock Central High School

The Tiger Online

The student news site of Little Rock Central High School

The Tiger Online

Swimming Against Currents

New AAA Swim Rules Allow for Co-Ed Competition
Sophomore Autumn Mills races in the mixed 100 meter backstroke. Photo by Meredith Lipsey

At The River Center’s recent swim meet in Benton, the boys, and girls swim heat sparked discussion among participants. The January 25 event brought together male and female swimmers for a unique competition.

When the news that the individual events would be mixed first broke, there was a mix of surprise and curiosity among the participants. Since boys and girls rarely compete against one another, many were taken aback. 

“I wasn’t expecting it because you hadn’t done that before. There were pros and cons about it” said Nadia Garcia.

The swimmers shared their experiences and feelings about competing against the opposite gender. Freshman swimmer Nadia Garcia mentioned she is more motivated when racing against boys, acknowledging their physical strength. 

“I feel more motivated going against boys because physically they’re normally stronger. There’s a lot of pressure,” said Garcia. 

On the other hand, sophomore swimmer Joshua Smith realized that racing against a girl of similar speed wouldn’t make him feel any different about the race, it would just make him happy to have another person in the race. The general view among swimmers is that mixed meets can benefit the sport, especially in a region where swimming may not be as popular as in other areas. 

Mixed meets can be beneficial for swimming because it allows everybody to race someone who’s their speed.

— Smith

Despite initial surprise and some pressure, many participants found the experience of racing against the opposite gender to be positive. 

“I went against a boy, and you could tell that he was trying so hard to keep up with me. In the last 50 meters, I caught up with him, and I beat him. He gave me a fist bump after which made me feel really good,” said freshman Addi Stalnaker.

Overall, the boys and girls swim mixed heats have been largely positive, with many participants expressing a willingness to participate in more mixed events. The consensus seems to be that mixed meets provide a unique and motivating experience for all participants, regardless of gender.

The event has sparked discussions about the potential benefits of incorporating more mixed meets in the high school swimming program, with many participants expressing enthusiasm for the idea. The boys and girls swimming mixed heats have not only provided an opportunity for friendly competition but have also opened up conversations about the future of swimming events at the high school level.


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Mecca Walls
Mecca Walls, Sports Editor
I am a senior and this is my second year on staff. Outside of school I enjoy taking photos to capture moments I wouldn't want to take for granted. Unfortunately since it is my last year on staff, I'm really going to give it my all. Sadly I will miss my newsie family.

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