It’s been a strong start to the summer swim slate for the Shelbyville Sharks, winning two of their first three meets of the summer against Marshall County and Lawrenceburg. One of the key …
It’s been a strong start to the summer swim slate for the Shelbyville Sharks, winning two of their first three meets of the summer against Marshall County and Lawrenceburg.
One of the key challenges summer swim clubs face is keeping team numbers up, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled sports and nearly setting everyone back to square one.
For the Sharks, the summer team has seen a fairly significant uptick in participation from last summer.
“Our numbers are up this season. We have way more swimmers than last year. We have about 77 kids on our team currently, and last year we had about 50,” Sharks coach Lauren Ball said.
The center for success has been fairly simple for the Sharks so far.
Our center for success this season has been that many of our new swimmers are sticking with it, learning, and excelling. We have some brand new swimmers who are scoring top three in their events and contributing points towards our wins. We have a very motivated group this year. Many of them are willing to try new events, make some mistakes, and learn from them. Each meet, a majority of our team is beating their personal records, and we’re getting faster as a team with each meet,” Ball added.
Within the team, swimmers compete against other swimmers within their own age divisions and so far this season, and there have been several swimmers within each age division that have made their impact through the first half of the summer schedule.
“For our 8 and unders Vollie James is returning with many first-place finishes this year. Deborah Peoples is returning and Briella Matue is a new swimmer and both girls are doing great. For our 9-10 year old swimmers, Piercen McGee is a returning swimmer from last year who is doing really well with many first-place finishes, and Leah Landers is new to our team this year and scoring many top-three finishes for our team,” Ball said.
“For our 11-14 year olds, Edgar Garcia, Joey Carpenter, and Alan Carrillo are having breakout seasons and consistently impressing us as coaches on the boys’ side. For 11-14 year old girls, Lorelei Geary has had some very strong swims. Grace Moody is a long-time Shark who is consistently bringing wins to our team. For 15+, we have returning senior, Caroline Whitaker, who is consistently scoring top-3 in her events for our team. Ben Betzelberger is also bringing home many top-3 finishes consistently and had three wins in his events last night. Adriana Velasquez is a new swimmer this year who is fighting hard to start breaking into some top three spots.”
In addition to the individual standouts, the Sharks have seen strong performances by the various relay teams as well.
“We have some really strong relays this year and it has been really fun to see these kids working together as a team and winning,” Ball said.
“Overall, I’ve been so pleased with the quality of swims we’re seeing from our team. We’re hoping for a couple more wins, but we are up against some really good teams this year. If we can have the majority of our team show up for our upcoming meets, we will put up a good fight against these upcoming teams.”
While the wins have come so far, Ball sees a distinct path to success for the Sharks and just what that entails for both the individual swimmers, as well as the team as a whole.
“I’d say success this season will be defined by minimizing the amount of disqualifications by our team and by having strong turnouts with every meet. Also, I’m hoping that these kids end the season motivated and excited for this upcoming high school season and for next summer. We are hoping each swimmer will come back and join us next year, and we are hoping that any past Sharks who did not swim this summer will come back and help bring even more success to our team in the years to come,” she said.
Shelbyville will be back in the pool on Tuesday night with a road meet at McMinnville. The Sharks’ next home meet will be on June 30.
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