Greensburg Daily News
The Decatur County Tiger Sharks swim team, an affiliate of the Decatur County Parks and Rec, opened its season Thursday night as they hosted the Milan Swim team.
The Tiger Sharks have seen a big increase in participation this season and boasted over 70 competitors in Thursday night’s meet.
“It was incredibly exciting to have so many kids competing and to also have the support of their friends and families,” said head coach Josh Hawkins. “Our sport is really beginning to grow in this community and we are the process of building an outstanding program.”
Some highlights of the meet included big wins in the girls 13-14 Medley relay of Emily Lowe, Emily Eberhardt, McKinley Bottoms, and Elaine Welage, the Women’s 18 & under Medley relay of Bri Stagge, Megan McDole, Abby Bausback, and Molly Oesterling, and the Men’s 18 & under Medley relay of Spencer Kuehl, Drew Reiger, Nick Oesterling, and Brady Niles.
“That big boys relay was intense!” exclaimed Hawkins. “We were side-by-side when the anchor legs went in the pool and Brady just put the hammer down going 23.66, which is crazy fast for a freshman in the seasons first summer meet!”
Other event winners were Bri Stagge in the 200 Free and 100 Free, Sean Slagle in the boys 8 & under 25 Free and 25 Back, Molly Oesterling in the Women’s 18 & under 50 Free and 100 Breaststroke, Brady Niles in the Men’s 18 & under 50 Free and 100 Free, Jacob Koontz in the boys 8 & under 25 Breaststroke, Emily Eberhardt in the girls 14 & under 100 Breaststroke and 100 Free, Nick Oesterling in the Men’s 18 & under 100 Breaststroke, 100 Back, and 100 IM, Bailey Menkedick in the girls 12 & under 50 back, Luke Stuart in the boys 12 & under 50 back, McKinley Bottoms in the girls 14 & under 100 back with a huge Personal Best, Cameron DeWeese in the boys 14 & under 100 back, Abby Bausback in the Women’s 18 & under 100 back, 100 Butterfly, and 100 IM in which Bausback PR’d in each of the these by significant margins; Jacob Stuart in the boys 10 & under 100 Free and 100 IM, Katie McLean in the girls 10 & under 100 IM, and the 200 Free Relays of girls 14 & under (Bottoms, Welage, Lowe, and Eberhardt), Women’s 18 & under (Oesterling, McDole, Bausback, Stagge), and Men’s 18 & under (Oesterling, Reiger, Kuehl, and Niles).
Hawkins noted that there were many other great swims during the meet in which Tiger Sharks made huge improvements from previous swims or raised eyebrows with impressive first-meet performances.
“We have a lot (20+) of new faces in the pool this year and I was super proud and impressed with how they swam in their first ever swim meet,” said Hawkins. “I was anticipating lots of mistakes and DQ’s because that’s typical of a first meet, but we managed to get by with very few. In fact, we had swimmers like 7-year old Emarie Jackson in her first-ever swim meet do 25 breaststroke and butterfly legally without getting DQ’d; that’s remarkable. With returning swimmers, the one thing that I always look at is where we are compared to where we were; are we improving or not? After each meet I print out a report that tells me whether that swimmer swam faster or slower than their previous best time and by how much. In last night’s meet we dropped a total 9 minutes and 41 seconds as a team. That is a huge amount of time! So that tells me that we are drastically improving, and ultimately, that is the name of the game.”
The Tiger Sharks’ next meet will be at the Greensburg Community High School on June 10 at 6 p.m. against Hidden Valley.