The Meade County Swim Team has endured a lot this season. Normally, by this time in the school year, swim season is done and swim athletes have moved on to spring sports that they participate in. But with COVID-19 protocols, and KHSAA delaying the start of the season, those swimmers that qualified during their Regional finals are still in the water and making waves as they gear up for the KHSAA State Swim Meet. This season Meade County will be well represented at the State Meet, which will be a little different this season due to COVID-19 protocols. This year the State meet will be broken down to three regions competing at one location. Meade County, who is a part of Region 3, will swim at the Russell County location, along with Regions 1 & 2. Once all locations complete their events, times will be sent to KHSAA to determine final placements for athletes in the State.
According to Head Coach Kelly Wilson all the swimmers did an awesome job, and that the team set 30 new personal records during regionals. This not only reflects their hard work, but it also solidifies why Region 2 selected Coach Wilson as Region Coach of the Year.
“That has nothing to do with me. That is all about their hard work, their perseverance, their dedication. Our team has been through a lot this year, but we have been through it together and we have battled through some COVID cases, COVID shutdowns but each time they have come back stronger,” Wilson said of the team. “It is truly an honor to be selected as the Coach of the Year, but it really belongs to them. They make me look good, and I do get emotional about it because I know the work that they put in every day. They gave up fall break, Thanksgiving break, Christmas break, and this year with the season being so long they even gave up their spring break. That is dedication and that’s why I love each one of them.”
Individual swimmers who qualified for automatic bids to State were Kara Bewley, who set a new school record in the 100 freestyle, and Tanner Medley who was Region runner up in the 100 Backstroke. The girls 400 Free Relay team (Lillian Slack, Macy Barr, Kara Bewley, Christine Dreizler) also received an automatic bid to compete at state. Bewley was also selected to the All-Region Team and finished as Region Champion for the second straight year in the 100 Breaststroke. The team also has numerous at large bids, Lillian Slack will swim in the 100 Fly, Kara Bewley will swim in the 100 Freestyle, and Tanner Medley will swim in the 500 Freestyle.
Coach Wilson spoke about her swimmers receiving automatic bids, saying that all of them have swam fantastic during the post season, and that she couldn’t have asked for more out of them.
“Tanner was a little frustrated that he finished second, but his opponents have grown tremendously, just like he has, but it was a tough competition that came down to 100ths of seconds. There is advantage and disadvantages for being in the water as long as we have,” Wilson said. “Most swimmers didn’t even begin until January, so coming into Regional competition the first week of April their teams are much fresher. Our kids have been swimming since October 1st, so they’re exhausted, so I couldn’t be prouder of the way they finished like we did against fresher teams.”
The girls team finished fourth overall in the Region while the boys team finished as Region runner up, but the team has a lot of young talent that is getting stronger, and a lot of that has to do with the senior leadership.
“I have all my Ladywave swimmers coming back next season who will be led by Kara. Mimi was my only senior and has done a phenomenal job leading these girls. I am also losing two senior boys in Conner and Tanner Medley. Those two will be hard to replace. Those boys have a heart for this sport. They know every statistic about every person in the state, they just know it inside and out and has been a big part of their life,” Wilson said of her departing seniors, “It is going to be exceedingly difficult to replace their talent and leadership but we have a young boys’ team that is coming right along. Our goal is to develop, grow, and keep turning over good swimmers. So, we are looking good for the next few years.”
Unfortunately for our athletes and their families, KHSAA has decided that no spectators will be allowed to attend this year’s State Meet. So, good luck Swimmers!