The Batesville Swim Team splashed into the summer season with the Meet of Champions Saturday, June 8, at the Batesville Memorial Pool. Local swimmers faced off in a fun mock meet, a warm-up to the 2019 season.

The team boasts nearly 100 swimmers, ranging in age from 3-year-old Archer Austin to 17-year-olds Gwen Martin and Molly Wachsmann. BST has many new faces on the coaching staff, including head coach Greg McMullen and assistant coaches Kat Bryan and Kate Poltrack. Hannah Simpson returned as an assistant coach for her second season with BST.

Bryan reports, “Right now it’s just all about the excitement. I know I am excited, and I know the kids are excited for us to have a great season. I am super pumped to be a part of this and looking forward to all that comes with it.”

Many new swimmers got their feet wet for the first time Saturday, including 6&U swimmers A. Austin, Cora Gribben, Ailey Jones and Caroline Zhou. McMullen states, “Today was all about teaching our new swimmers and parents how a meet would go. We’ll use this as a learning experience for all of our athletes, and we look forward to getting some racing in over the next few weeks.”

Several close finishes kept spectators on the edge of their seats. Sean Callahan and Ben Moster traded first and second places in the 18&U 40-yard freestyle and 40-yard fly, finishing both races less than a second apart. Close finishes for first and second also occurred between Madison Goodwin and Averi Jones in the 12&U 40-yard freestyle and Sara Lamping and Amelia Austin in the 14U 40-yard freestyle. Solara Scheel and Lydia Niese glided into first and second in the 8&U 25-yard backstroke within a second of each other.

“Overall, we had a great meet and some fun races to watch,” says the head coach.

Following heats, many swimmers stayed in the pool until the last swimmer finished, shaking hands with opponents. “Being the first meet, and a mock meet at that, I think the biggest thing that stood out to me was the sportsmanship. Whether you are a great swimmer or not the best, you can always have good sportsmanship. The older kids can definitely be an example to the little ones,” Bryan comments.

This summer, BST is set to compete in eight meets ending in a Southeastern Indiana Swim Association conference championship in Madison June 29. Coaches are hopeful for a fun and successful season.

Elizabeth Miller, Batesville, is a parent volunteer.