The Hoosier Hill Otters (H2O) of Madison, coached by Batesville native John Schutte, captured their third consecutive Southeastern Indiana Swimming Association conference championship June 29 at their home natatorium.
The 43rd annual SEISA championships at Madison Jr. High School consisted of seven teams. The final scores were as follows: H2O (2,829), Greensburg (1,432), Batesville (1,270), Milan (1,041), Switzerland County (604), Hidden Valley (500) and Jennings County (322).
The championship meet is a day-long event where swimmers compete in two separate sessions. The morning session was for swimmers ages 5-10 and ages 11-18 swam in the afternoon session. Athletes who finished in 1st through 12th place earned points for their team.
H2O was well represented by six local swimmers: Santiago, Alejandra and Salvador Schutte (all of Sunman), Nash and Hadlee King and Madden Owens (all of Batesville).
In Santiago's 4th season with H2O, the 11-year-old made the state cut in the 50-yard breaststroke (36.29) while placing 2nd. He qualified for divisionals in the 50 butterfly (33.58; 5th) and the 100 freestyle (1:01.71; 1st place). He added runner-up in the 100 individual medley (1:13.43).
Alejandra, 9, also in her 4th season, earned divisional qualification in the 50 free (36.27; 6th) and 50 breast (48.11; 3rd). She posted 7th place in the 100 IM (1:36.49) and 9th in the 50 fly (51.44).
Hadlee, 7, made her debut with the team this year, placing 6th in the 25 backstroke (26.06), 9th in the 25 fly (37.27), 6th in the 100 IM (2:43.21) and 11th in the 25 breast (40.04)
In Madden's first year of competition, the 10-year-old made the divisional cut in the 50 breast (49.98; 4th) and added 5th in 50 fly (58.32) and 100 IM (1:48.8).
Salvador, 6, competed in just one event, the 25 free.
Nash, 10, was most impressive in winning each of his events and setting four new SEISA records in the process. His wins came in the 50 breast (37.95), the 50 fly (30.49 smashed a 26-year mark), the 100 free (1:05.38, topping a 24-year record) and 100 IM (1:14.59).
Coach Schutte remarked on his swimmers' efforts.
“Passion is often what drives a strong work ethic, and this is exhibited through determination, drive, and mental toughness. Nash King shows up for every practice determined to make himself better. He sets high goals and works hard to achieve those goals.”
“Don’t take yourself too seriously…always have fun and project that fun into your training. Those words describe Santiago Schutte to a “T”. Santiago continues to improve his overall performance and he does it with enthusiasm and team spirit.”
“The common thread in TEAM effort is doing it together, supporting each other and giving your best to create a positive work environment. Alejandra Schutte brings the team together. She works hard to develop her technique and speed but more importantly, she is compassionate about her teammates.”
“Success is always going to be different for each individual. Hadlee King is working very hard to improve her technique. It is a huge accomplishment for a swimmer at the age of seven capable to swim every stroke.”
“My personal goal for each athlete is helping them achieve swimming success through Technique, Intensity, and Growth. Madden Owens was determined to get a divisional cut this season. He found the breaststroke to be his favorite stroke to swim and perfected his technique to achieve his goal.”
“We can’t forget about our youngest member of the team, Salvador Schutte. We have Salvador focused on performance, not results. Getting across the pool this year was a huge accomplishment! The team is inspired by his effort at practice and his desire to keep up with the rest of the Schutte family.”
Not only did H2O come out as champs, they went undefeated this season with a 5-0 record.
“It was a great summer for the Otters and our coaches couldn't be more pleased with the performance of the entire team,” shared Schutte. “All their hard work paid off! We are so very proud of every swimmer’s determination to improve individually and work together to win as a team!”