Area swimmers compete in Junior Olympics

Photo by Phil Haddad Members of the Boyertown swim team who competed at the Junior Olympics (from left): Justin Morris, Ivan Escott, Madelyn Green, Carlie Owens. Missing from photo Annika Gally, Jullianna Glassner, Andrew Armbruster, Ridge Hager, Jacob Santos and Griffin Schlegel.

Recently, 10 swimmers from the Boyertown swim team qualified and competed in the Junior Olympics at the Glouster County Institute of Technology.

Those who competed were Annika Gally (Kutztown), Julianna Glassner (Boyertown), Madelyn Green (Boyertown), Carlie Owens (Daniel Boone), Andrew Armbruster (Brandywine Heights), Ivan Escott (Boyertown), Ridge Hager (Quakertown), Justin Morris (Boyertown), Jacob Santos (Daniel Boone) and Griffin Schlegel (Twin Valley).

Owens competed in the 200 breast, 100 breast and the 400 IM. Green competed in the 50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 50 back, 100 back, 50 breast, 50 fly, 100 fly and the 200 I.M. Morris competed in the 200 back while Escott competed in the 800 free and the 200 free.

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Escott, Morris, Green and Owens started swimming when they were very young, and all come from swimming families. With Carlies brother (Ryan) being a swimmer, it isnt not surprising that she got the itch for swimming.

Maddy was always afraid of the water when she was younger when she was younger, but her parents wanted her to learn how to swim. She not only learned how to swim, but how to swim fast.

My dad really supports me, and so does my mom, aid Green. They support me if I have a bad race, or a bad week of practice.

My parents tell me not to worry about how other people swim just worry about your time, said Morris. For Owens, her brother Ryan has been very successful in swimming, but she doesnt feel like shes in his shadow.

I dont really care (about being in his shadow), said Carlie. Im happy for him. I know that Im going to get better, so I really dont care.

For all the swimmers, when they first found out that they were going to JOs they were all very excited. Im excited to go to JOs and I want to get my time for mationals next year, said Owens

Green felt that she didnt have a good year last year, but this year, she qualified for more events. She planned to make the most of her chance at JOs.

I feel that Ive worked a lot harder this year, said Green. I wanted to do more and I wanted to make finals. Im really happy that I made it a lot further than I did as an 11-year-old.

Maddy has seen her hard work pay off. Her improvement from last year has been huge.

Im happy that Ive made it this far, said Maddy.

For Escott and Morris, this is their first time going to JOs. Although they really dont know what to expect, they are surprisingly calm.

Its not really nerve-racking because Ive been swimming in other big meets, said Escott. Im really not that worried. All Im really looking to do is to improve my times.

Ive been to other big swim meets before and its really not that scary, I just want to drop my time, said Morris. I cant worry about other people, but just worry about my time.

With Green and Owens being at the JO meet before, they know what to expect. Green feels that her prior experience at JOs will help her this year.

Escott, being 14, will be competing against older kids. He knows the competition will be tough, but hes confident in his own abilities.

I think that Ill be able to swim with the higher level kids, said Escott. I think that I can hold my own in the 800, but Im not sure about the 200.

For all of the swimmers, qualifying for the JOs is an accomplishement. Any success there will be a bonus.

Im happy that I can say that Ive been to JOs, said Owens. It shows that Im a good swimmer in this area.

Im excited too, and I can tell people that Im on the same level, said Escott.

Phil Haddad is a free lance writer for the Times. You can follow him on Twitter @writersprtsBT