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Future looks bright for local swimmers

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By The Staff

Special to the Sun

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Between them, Kate and Hannah Spaulding have six years left to swim. Right now, they’re just getting started.

Bethlehem High School sophomore Kate Spaulding and St. Dominic eighth grader Hannah Spaulding recently smashed their records in their strongest events – the 100 breaststroke and 200 freestyle.

Kate broke her personal best record in the 100 breaststroke and 200 individual medley, records she set during last year’s regional as a freshman. She cut five seconds in the 100 breaststroke from last year’s time, finishing the event in 1:14.33. This earned her a third- place finish in the region, which is comprised of 25 teams and more than 800 swimmers. She also smashed her 200 IM record from last year’s time finishing with a 2:31.54. This earned her a fifth-place finish at regions. Kate was in the championship heat in both of her events.

Hannah broke her personal best record in the 200 freestyle cutting 10 seconds from last year’s region time as a seventh grader, finishing with 2:21.18. She placed 10th in the region in this event. She also had a good showing in the 100 breaststroke finishing 11th in the region with a time of 2:20.83.

Both swimmers intended to break their records this season as they set their goals before the season began.

“My goal is to break my record every time I swim. I really want to work on my breaststroke so I can make it to the high school state meet next year,” Kate said. This year she missed qualifying for the state meet by three tenths of a second.

Hannah has set her sights high as well. “I want to break my records every year and continue to improve. I would like to be able to make it back to the regional meet in the championship heats in both my events next year,” Hannah said. As an eighth grader, she made it to the finals this year in the consolation heats.

With Kate being just a sophomore and Hannah an eighth grader, these girls have time to meet these goals. They are setting a strong precedent for the other Bethlehem swimmers to follow.

Both swimmers credit their coaches, Mike Carey and Fran Spaulding for helping them capture their records.

“The Spaulding girls always come to practice ready to work,” Carey said. “They put in a lot of time to achieve their goals. We’re going to push to advance those times with the CKTS team. It will set the tone for next year. I’m really proud of both of them.”

As part of the CKTS team and USA Swimming, Kate and Hannah have made their time cuts to participate in the State “A” swim meet held at the University of Kentucky in March. Both are also multi-sport athletes. Kate plays soccer and softball while Hannah has played basketball and softball.

Two other Bethlehem swimmers to look out for coming up in the ranks are sixth graders, Mary Beth Spaulding and Lilly Boone. This was their first year on the Bethlehem Swim Team. “Mary Beth has improved her times tremendously and became a big part of the 200 IM Relay and the 400 Freestyle Relay teams,” said Carey. Both relay teams made it back to the regional finals finishing 12th and ninth respectively. “Lilly just began swimming this year and continues to improve each time she gets in the water,” Carey said.

With these swimmers returning with lofty goals in mind, next year looks bright for the Bethlehem swim team. However, Spaulding and Carey said the team is still looking for more members. They are looking to build a solid squad for years to come.

Regional Meet Individual results: (measurements in yards, times are from preliminary heats unless noted)

Women’s Results:

200 medley relay

(2:14.62 finals 12th place) Mary Beth Spaulding, Megan Russman, Kate Spaulding, Hannah Spaulding

200 freestyle

Hannah Spaulding, 2:21.18 (finals 10th place); Mary Beth Spaulding, 2:42.77; Maggie Smith, 2:52.12; Lilly Boone, 3:13.67.

200 individual medley

Kate Spaulding, 2:31.54 (finals 5th place)

50 freestyle

Megan Russman, 29.41; Elizabeth Cornell, 33.59; Olivia Lear, 35.32; Jenny Greenwell, 38.36.

100 freestyle

Maggie Smith, 1:12.58; Chloe King, 1:12.73; Elizabeth Cornell, 1:17.88, Olivia Lear, 1:19.99.

200 freestyle relay

(2:19.62) Elizabeth Cornell, Jenny Greenwell, Chloe King, Olivia Lear

100 backstroke

Mary Beth Spaulding, 1:28.91; Lilly Boone, 1:43.05.

100 breaststroke

Kate Spaulding, 1:14.33 (finals 3rd place); Hannah Spaulding, 1:20.83 (finals 11th place); Megan Russman, 1:25.73.

400 freestyle relay

(4:29.72 finals 9th place) Mary Beth Spaulding, Megan Russman, Kate Spaulding, Hannah Spaulding.