January 6, 2020
I was afforded the opportunity to be the Coach of the 13-14 age group for Team Indiana this past weekend at the 36th Annual Mid-States All-Star Championships held at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis. The All-Star competition hosts over 400 athletes from Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin ranging in ages from 9-14 years old. Each state (LSC) is allowed 4 swimmers to compete in each event with each swimmer swimming a maximum of 6 individual events and 2 relays. Indiana Swimming offers roster spots to the top 4 swimmers of each event in their age group from this season’s times. Indiana’s roster had 89 swimmers from 33 different teams across the state. FORT Wayne Swim Team had 8 swimmers (Mason Crews, Owen Dankert, Catherine Greenlee, Will Greenlee, James Hench, Natalie Marshall, Adam McCurdy & Jackson Parrish) invited who all competed this weekend. (The second most athletes by any team in Indiana.)
As I was on staff at Zones this past summer in Fargo, ND I got to know a lot of kids/families from around the state who also were on Team Indiana this weekend at Mid-States. This made thie weekend/experience unique as a lot of these kids are 13-14 year old’s who I already have coached not only in Fargo but also at IN Swimming Camps. From the second this group of 13-14 year olds arrived/checked in they brought a level of energy and leadership that separated us from the other teams (LSC’s). We were the first team on deck, the first kids behind the blocks ready for warm-ups, the loudest cheerers and were having the most fun. By the last race of the meet (500 Free) Team Indiana had as many kids still on deck cheering on their teammates than all the other states combined. FORT’s very own Owen Dankert won and broke the Mid-States record in the boys 13-14 500 Free while his Team IN and FORT teammate Adam McCurdy finished 3rd. Both swims were best times by over 5 seconds. In the last events of the meet Team Indiana won all 4 of the 500 Free Events (11-12 & 13-14 Boys & Girls breaking 2 records in the wins). Mason Crews dropped over 7 seconds in his 500 while finishing 4th in the 11-12 boys which was the last heat of the meet. Again, his Indiana teammates were there on the side of the pool cheering Mason and his teammate on. Without a doubt in my mind, Mason, Owen & Adam would of had a very hard time swimming at that level in the last race of the meet without the energy of their teammates.
In a new tradition we started we gave away a prize to a swimmer in each age group who went above and beyond cheering and being supportive of their teammates. It was noticed by all coaches that on Saturday Jackson Parrish was cheering and giving high fives to his teammates when they finished their races and did the same during the mile which again was the last races of the day. The 11-12 lead coach and Team Indiana Head Coach both awarded Jackson with the Spirit award. At the end of the meet I was talking with the head coach about who to give the 13-14 spirit award to and he said from the second he arrived Adam McCurdy brought a level of energy that sparked fire our team needed. Adam received the 13-14 spirit award on Sunday. Very proud of both of these FORT swimmers as well as Catherine, James, Owen, Natalie & Mason as all 8 of our swimmers stayed both days to watch and support their teammates through the last heat of the meet.
Team Indiana was dominant to start the meet and was even more dominant finishing the meet. We e3nded up winning by over 800 points over Team Ohio. This meet brings together the best of the best from each of these 6 states. FORT Wayne Swim Team did an incredible job in all of their events they swam. All of our swimmers competed in at least 2 events. Below are the events our athletes finished in scoring position:
Natalie Marshall: Anchored the 13-14 Girls 200 Free Relay to 1st Place and new Meet Record; 9th in 50 Free
Owen Dankert: 1st Place and new Meet Record in 500 Free; 1st in 1650 Free; 1st in 200 Fly; 2nd Place in 200 Free; 2nd Place in 100 Fly; 8th Place in 200 IM; 1st in 200 Medley Relay
Mason Crews: 3rd in the 1650; 4th in the 500 Free; 4th in 100 Breast; 4th in the 100 IM; 6th in the 200 Free; 7th in 200 IM; 3rd in 200 Free Relay; 5th in 200 Medley Relay
Will Greenlee: 7th in 200 Medley Relay
Adam McCurdy: 1st in 200 IM; 1st in 100 Fly; 1st in 400 IM; 3rd in 100 Breast; 3rd in 500 Free; 5th in 200 Breast; 2nd in 200 Medley Relay; Spirit Award Winner
Jackson Parrish: 14th in 100 IM; 16th in 100 Back; 7th in 200 Free Relay; Spirit Award Winner
Congrats to all eight of our FORT athletes who competed and represented our team so very well as a member of Team Indiana. It is a huge accomplishment and honor just to get invited to this meet. You made us all very proud!