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Swim team resumes program

16 members participate at championship
Swim team resumes program
Swim team resumes program
Capital Aquatics Divisional Championship medal winners, front row from left, are Cam Lasley, Emerson Kaiser, Bryce Stilwell, Ellis Kaiser; back row, Jasmine Barretto, Maisey ZurSchmiede, Madison Stilwell, Ella Johnson, James Williams. Submitted photo
Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]

Capital Aquatics has started a back-to-the-pool program this month at the YMCA of Harrison County. Swimmers in the area who saw their summer season canceled due to health concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic are now able to get back in the pool to train a few days a week.

Groups are limited to 10 to 12 swimmers to allow for social distancing. Each swimmer is evaluated for symptoms of the coronavirus, and their temperature is checked prior to the start of practice.

Capital Aquatics completed its 2019-20 swimming season in the beginning of March, right before many athletics were forced to stop due to the pandemic, at the Indiana Divisional Swimming Championship in Terre Haute.

At the beginning of the season, the Capital Aquatics coaching staff was hoping to take five or six swimmers to the event, which requires swimmers to meet qualifying time standards for each event in order to participate.

According to coach Mike Woertz, throughout the entire season the team greatly exceeded expectations, and the team had 16 members qualify with a total of 60 individual events and three relays. The three-day competition followed the USA Swimming championship meet format where swimmers are required to swim in both a preliminary and finals rounds of competition for each event.

“It’s very exciting but at the same time completely exhausting,” said Woertz. “Not only physically challenging to swim that many times over the course of three days, but mentally challenging as well, because you have to get yourself psyched up for each race.”

The team brought home 25 medals, including a gold in the 9- and 10-year-old boys’ 200 medley relay by the team of Cam Lasley, Emerson Kaiser, Ellis Kaiser and Bryce Stilwell.

Madison Stilwell came away with six medals, including two silvers in the 200- and 500-yard freestyles. She also became the first Capital Aquatics swimmer to qualify for the Indiana State Championships, which was canceled due to COVID-19.

“Qualifying for the state championships is an outstanding achievement and puts her in the top 2% of swimmers in the state,”
Woertz said.”We were all very proud of her.”

Capital Aquatics Divisional Championship qualifiers included Jasmine Barretto, Maisey ZurSchmiede, Kassie ZurSchmiede, Ella Johnson, James Williams, Cam Lasley, Emerson Kaiser, Ellis Kaiser, Bryce Stilwell, Madison Stilwell, Ryan Colin, Booker LaHue, Georgia LaHue, Damon Smith, Isabella Boone and Hannah Utz.