Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz. -- With the 2003-2004 Commander's Cup intramural sports season coming to a close, it's time to buckle down for the final two events, the first of which was the Monday night swim meet at Oasis Pool.
Four teams participated in the meet Marine Wing Support Squadron-371, Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron-13, Marine Aircraft Group-13 and Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron.
Teams competed in the 50-meter freestyle, 50m backstroke, 50m butterfly, 50m breaststroke, a 200m freestyle relay, 200m-medley relay and 200m freestyle.
At the end of the meet, gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded to the top three teams or team members in each race based on their times in the races.
The big surprise of the evening came with the H&HS team, or lack there of. John Prindle competed in all but two events as the sole H&HS team member and snagged five gold medals in the process, winning the meet for H&HS.
"When I found out the other guys on the team had prior commitments and couldn't come, I decided instead of scratching, I'd just try to do it myself," said Prindle.
He explained that his prior swimming experience helped him do well in the meet.
"I swam nine years ago in high school, and when I got to Yuma, there was a team here that practices every week, so I've been swimming with them," he said.
The 200m-medley relay consisted of 50m of each stroke breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly and freestyle. Each team had four swimmers, one for each stroke to maintain each team's endurance. Prindle swam each stroke by himself and won the relay by a pool length.
"You have to make sure you have the stamina to make it the whole time," he explained. "Switching strokes isn't bad, but when you have to do butterfly in the middle, it kind of wears you out."
Jose Elias, MAG-13, said his past swimming experience on his high school's water polo and swim teams also helped him to take the gold medal in the 50m backstroke. He added that in swimming, endurance and being rested are definitely keys to success, and lack of the latter affected his team's performance.
"We've been practicing everyday, and we heard about the meet by e-mail, so we decided to come out here since no one was coming out for the MAG. We were kind of tired from practicing, so we didn't do as well as we wanted to," said Elias.
Prindle also was awarded the overall best athlete for his performance throughout the evening.
Harold Dean, athletic director Marine Corps Community Services, said the points from the swim meet and the outcome of the championship golf tournament coming up at the end of the month will determine the winner of a close race for this year's Commander's Cup.
He added that the schedule for the 2004-2005 season is posted at the station gym and includes two new sports dodge ball and kickball.
John Prindle, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron swims to victory and one of his five gold medals in Monday's swim meet at Oasis Pool. Photo by Pvt. Dustin M. Rawls