The Indian River High School Indians weren’t the only local swim team to make a splash last week, with the Sea Colony Sharks taking third place at the Two Bays Championship and setting some records of their own.
Both Declan Burke and Tessa Elling scored “high point” at the meet, and three records were broken — one of which was 10 years old.
“These kids were just born when that record was set,” head coach Janna Schneider said, to put it in perspective. “Two kids on our team getting high point is a pretty big accomplishment.”
Burke combined with Evan Davis, Trey Mitchell and Carson Barnes to set the Boys 9-10 100-meter freestyle record, clocking in at 1:07:44, smashing the old record of 1:10:20 set all the way back in 2003.
Tessa Elling broke the Girls 13-14 50-meter backstroke record from 2008, with a time of 35.74, and her younger sister, Sanne Elling, set the record for the Girls 7-8 25-meter backstroke, with a time of 21.05. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, both girls are sisters of Indian River All-State center and Dutch waffle cookie entrepreneur Joost Elling.
Like Indian River swim coaches Colin Crandel and Donna Smith, Schneider sees the accomplishment as the start of a new standard for competitive swimming in lower Sussex County.
“All of the coaches around here have the same goal: to increase the awareness of swimming and get more kids involved in it and promote the sport in general,” she explained. “Even though we’re not the same team, we’ve got the same goal.”
While the winter swim season is winding down for the Sharks, the summer pre-season is set to begin in May — and Schneider emphasized the impact that the sport could have when kids start early.
“There’s commitment that has to be made,” she said, highlighting some of the other benefits of starting competitive swimming early on. “It creates a maturity level that progresses a lot quicker when it comes to swimmers. These kids can be beach guards or pool guards. It gives them opportunity to serve their community and have jobs in the summer and compete at national level in lifeguarding competitions.”
To sign up for the Sharks or for more information on the program, contact the Sea Colony Fitness Center at (302)-539-4511.