By Rick Teverbaugh
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
A talented and dedicated group of young swimmers from Anderson will begin a three-day meet in Indianapolis today competing against the best age-group swimmers in the state.
Seven swimmers representing the Anderson Community Aquatics Club will be competing at the Indiana Natatorium today through Sunday in the Indiana Age Group State Swimming Championships.
The swimmers and their events are:
Meri Gray (100/200 butterfly, 100 backstroke, 200 freestyle), Hannah Boerner (100/200 breaststroke, 1,650 freestyle), Allie Bramwell (200 individual medley, 100/200 freestyle), Will Lashbrook (1,000/1,650 freestyle), Erin Brazel (1,650 freestyle) and Alexa Bramwell (1,650 freestyle).
All members of that group are in the 13-14 age group except for Allie Bramwell, who is in the 10-and-under group.
“To qualify, there is a state standard time they must equal or surpass to qualify for this meet,” said Todd Griner, ACAC’s head coach.
He indicated that approximately 120 clubs will be represented, sending at least 1,000 swimmers to the event.
Each of those minimums are set for each event in each age group. For some of these swimmers, their birthdays fell at inopportune moments and thrust them into the next oldest group where their times had to be even better. Gray is one of those, and she recently was bumped into the 13-14 group.
“Marci Gray is swimming at a really high level right now,” said Griner. “She will be one of the youngest in her age group. She has an uncanny knack for finishing (a race). Marci and Hannah are the ones who have the most experience for us.”
Boperner is going to her fourth state meet.
Gray, Boerner and Alexa Bramwell all qualified as part of relay teams as well. They are in the 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relays. Brazel rounds out the 200-free relay team, and Bond completes the 400-free relay team.
Allie Bramwell has her two swims today, and everyone else will be packed into a very busy Sunday. The preliminaries each day start at 9 a.m., with the finals in those events being held in the morning. Friday will be for the youngest group and Sunday for the oldest section.
“We have some swimmers who are right on the edge of swimming well enough to make the finals,” said Griner. “We are hoping they will find a little more speed and make it in.”
These swimmers are a glimpse of what the future might hold at the high school level as well.
“These kids are spread around,” said Griner. “We have a couple who are home-schooled and a few from Anderson, Liberty Christian and APA (Anderson Preparatory Academy). I don’t get into that at all since I am at Anderson.”