It’s been almost 60 years since the Batesville swim team was formed in 1956. Over that period, at least three generations of swimmers have passed through the program, learning the fundamentals of competitive swimming and sportsmanship. The 2014 season will mark the 58th season of summer competitive swimming in Batesville and almost 50 years of competition in the Southeastern Indiana Swim Association, comprised of teams from Batesville, Decatur County, Hidden Valley, Madison, Milan and South Dearborn, recalls former longtime coach T.J. Greene.
The Batesville Stingrays have enjoyed much success over the years, including SEISA conference diving titles from 1965-1977 and again in 1980. A traveling trophy has accompanied the swim championships since 1976. Batesville has been a winner 16 times, in 1976 and 1977 and then 14 consecutive titles from 1999-2012. “Batesville also went 150-0 against opponents during the streak at 87 different meets. It was the one the longest winning streaks at any level, in any sport in the entire country,” according to Greene.
On average, close to 150 swimmers have been on the team during the past 10 years. The Stingrays have had as many as 192 compete in one season, ranging in ages from 5-18.
The 2014 coaching staff is made up of four coaches, Dave Cox and Kim Narwold for beginner swimmers and Mark Blanton and Michelle Schwettman for experienced ones.
The parent board includes Julie Cox and Kathy Fangman, who will be assisted by several volunteers throughout the season.
New Stingrays benefits include practices during May, thanks to the use of the Southeastern Indiana YMCA pool; upcoming evening practices for the younger age group, thanks to the Batesville Memorial Pool staff for allowing use of two lanes from 6-7 p.m.; Saturday practices for further instruction on technique; and the kickoff clinic.
The clinic, set for this Saturday, May 31, from 8:30 a.m.-noon (registration is from 8-8:30 a.m.), will be hosted by Noelle Wilhite, a Batesville native who is currently a University of Illinois assistant swim coach and former teammate of Blanton. The clinic will focus on stroke work and mechanics with some fun relays and games mixed in. All swimmers registered for the 2014 summer season are expected to attend.