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Langlade County News

Antigo Swim Club Remembers Michelle Koss Through The 4th Annual Splash N Dash

July 11, 2016

For the Antigo Swim Club, their annual Splash and Dash serves as a fundraiser and a way to get people out and active. This year, it held a much deeper meaning as the Club remembered its former director, Michelle Koss.

Koss was a diabetes educator in the Antigo area that had a passion for exercise and getting others to have the same mindset.

This past spring, she passed away after a tragic biking accident. She loved being a part of the swim club because it was an outlet for her to make an impression on young members of the community.

"Michelle not only was a wonderful person in our community, she was advent in our swim club," said new meet coordinator Michelle Arlen.

Someone who truly lives out Michelle's goal is her son Colin and husband Tom. They were able to participate in the Splash and Dash and she was with them the whole way in spirit.

"Last hundred meters, I wanted to cry. I was thinking about her a lot," said Colin Koss.

"When I was out there running, I almost cried a couple times too," said Tom Koss.

Colin was happy to see the event be carried on in her memory and see so many people came out to support the swim club.

"It's been growing the past couple years which is great to see. A lot more people are having fun and enjoying the day with it," said Colin Koss.

Some of the athletes take it competitively and others do it for the atmosphere, good cause, and a fun way to exercise.

"Most people set their own internal goals and they cheer each other on. It's the idea of just getting them out in the water, getting them exposed to swimming. And running, especially in the Northwoods right here, it's just a beautiful spot," said Arlen.

One of the ways that they have kept Michelle's memory alive in the race is to not set too many boundaries for people who want to participate. If you're not strong with running AND swimming, you can still make it work by splitting the race with a partner.

"Make it a family thing" tandem- if you can swim, if you can run. It was just a wonderful day. If you can see the atmosphere around here, everyone's happy, laughing, it's just great," said Arlen.

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