MOULTRIE — The Georgia Recreation and Parks Association’s Class B state swim meet will return to Colquitt County this week after a two-year absence and those who competed here in 2003 will notice in difference in the facilities.

The state meet, held in Tifton the last two years, is expected to draw more than 610 swimmers to the two-day meet, which will open Friday at the Jim Buck Goff Recreation Complex pool.

Those swimmers and their family and friends will find a new bath house that was started just after the close of the 2003 state meet.

Moultrie-Colquitt County Parks and Recreation Department director Terry Peek was in Moultrie for the 2003 meet, but came as the coach of the Thomaston-Upson Stingrays swim team.

Several months later, he became the director of the recreation department here.

“The last time, I was just here as a coach,” Peek said Tuesday. “Now I’m here to run the meet.”

And it is a daunting task, as the recreation department and its team of parents and other volunteers prepare for a meet that is expected to bring more than 2,000 people to the community.

“It’s massive,” Peek said. “But the Moultrie Sharks Swim Team parents group has been helping. We’ve received donations from businesses. Everybody’s pitched in to help. We’ll have 75 to 90 volunteers assisting with this.

“We couldn’t do it with just the recreation department.”

Volunteers from the Tifton Tidal Wave swim team and from Moody Air Force Base also will be on hand.

The area around the pool is expected to be busy from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and restaurants should be packed from 1-4 each day during the break between prelims and finals.

Warmups will begin at 7 a.m. each day, followed by opening ceremonies at 9 a.m.

Prelims will run from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. each day.

Finals will begin at about 4 p.m. The presentation of awards will begin at about 6:30 p.m.

Prelims and finals in 8-and-under and 10-and-under age groups will be held on Friday.

The 12-and-under, 14-and-under and 18-and-under age group events will be determined on Saturday.

The Moultrie Sharks who have qualified for the state meet in individual events are Jessica Price, Caroline Rogers, Andy Alekseichuk, Amy Peek, Ashlee Paramore, Connor Walsh, Burton Brown and Mitchell Taylor.

The 12-and-under girls 200-yard medley relay team of Staci Repass (backstroke), Haley Goodman (breaststroke), Katie Moore (butterfly) and Ansley Moore (freestyle) also will compete.

Colquitt County played host to the state meet in 2001, 2002 and 2003 before it was moved to Tifton the last two years. Peek said the two communities might hold the even in alternating years.

“We helped Tifton with the meet the last two years,” Peek said. “It’s too big to try to do this in back-to-back years. You need a year to recuperate.

“If we can keep it in this area, it will benefit both of us. Both communities benefit when both departments team up.”

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