Bedford Swim Team (Early 70's)

Front row left to right - Julie Wilhite , Leslie Quigg , Susan Murphy, David Johnson, Chris Lee, and Carrie Jones. Row two left to right - Jim Gerkin , Unknown, Doug Zehr , Trent Speers , Chris Gates, Greg Tardy, and Chris Jones. Row three left to right - Cindy Elliott, Jill Appold , Jill  Wilhite , Janet Bottorf , Jane Beaver, Debbie Beaver, Debbie Shaver, Jenny Elliott, and Ann Quigg Row four left to right - Eric Robinson, Steve Dunsford , Tim Murphy, Trent Stump , Peter Gani , Tom Shaver, Kip Lagorin Back row left to right - Coach John Kyme .

     In 1966, the head lifeguard at Otis Park Pool, wanted to teach and train a small group of swimmers focusing on proper stroke mechanics. By the end of the Summer the number of swimmers doubled to 40.   That Summer Bedford beat Paoli but lost to Martinsville by over 500 pts. 

     By 1969, a parent board was formed to help with the growing summer club membership. No fees were charged, and donations were made including stopwatches and starting blocks. At this time “The Wall”, a non-movable bulkhead and subject of local swimming lore, was built at Otis Park Pool.  The wall was built In cooperation with the Bedford Parks Department using donated materials.  Upon completion of the pool finally had a turn end allowing the club to host swim meets.  Prior to the wall’s construction, a rope indicated the turn end of the course. With the help of parents and sponsors, the club continued to grow.

     In 1972 the Southern Indiana Swim Conference was established.  The 9 team conference included clubs from Bedford, Brownstown, Seymour, Bloomington and Martinsville. In the second year of the conference the Bedford Swim Club took the conference championship 2.  

     In 1973 the club had put together a record of 27-1.  1973 also marked the first year the club would be managed by a group of parents.  Charter members included Bill and Sue Quigg , Dale and Marilyn Robinson, Jim and Marilyn Shaver, Dave and Judy Elliott, Bob and Marge Lee, Pat and Bill Kyme , George Kyme , John Kyme , Rita and Gene Riley, Jack and Anne Dunsford ,Paul and Joanne Murphy,  Earl and Jan LaGorin , Ray and Jean Jarrard , and Hubert and Cassie Wheatley 3 .

     In the summer of 1975 the BNL High School pool opened.  The Bedford Swim Club changed its name to coordinate with the newly consolidated High School’s BNL stars. The nickname “Starfish” was added to the original name creating the Bedford Starfish Swim Club (BSSC)2.   

     1976 marked the arrival of Coach Larry Zoller.  Zoller took the helm as coach of the Starfish as well as the BNL high school program. That winter, Bedford Swim Club became an incorporated non-profit organization and joined the Central Indiana Swim Conference (CISC).  They registered as a member of the Indiana Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). The 12-team conference met year-round in dual meets and semi-annual championships. The club provided a foundation that also benefited the BNL High School program.  Under Coach Zoller’s leadership BNL won eight men’s conference championships, seven men’s sectional titles, one women’s sectional titles from 1976-1989. During this time Bedford also had it’s first state champion.  Eric Robinson won IHSAA state titles in the 200 I.M. and 100 Butterfly.  His butterfly record still stands to this day.  Many of the athletes from these championship teams began as age group swimmers and members of the Bedford Swim Club.    

     1989 marked the end of Coach Zoller’s tenure.  This marked a time of uncertainty and change.  The club was without a clear parent group to lead it into the future. Coach Bill Deckard began coaching BNL immediately following Coach Zoller’s exit.  The club continued a summer program but offered no winter programs.  The club swam during the early 90’s against conference members Mitchell, Linton, Brownstown, and Scottsburg. In addition to a conference championship meet, the club members also attended the White River State Games (later renamed the Hoosier State Games). At this time the club chose to take a new direction becoming the Bedford Swim Team (BeST).  

    In the late 90's the club enjoyed a thriving summer program winning multiple conference meets. In the winter of 1998-99 Damon Hall, began a “winter conditioning” program at BNL for club swimmers who wished to continue beyond the Summer season. Coaches created and chartered with Indiana Swimming to create a separate club, titled Lawrence County Aquatics (LCA). Control of the team fell to the BNL coaches in the summer of 2000. The Bedford Swim Team fulfilled its conference obligations while also beginning to attend Indiana Swimming sanctioned meets.  Under the direction of new coaches, the club withdrew from the conference to focus on year-round sanctioned swimming. It was at this time that LCA became a board owned USA Swimming club.

     By the end of its first year as Lawrence County Aquatics a formal parent board had been established with limited responsibility. Under President Bruce Hewetson LCA also became a 501c3 non-profit organization.  The club incorporated in May of 2002. In the Fall of 2002, the club was again in need of a new head coach. Enter Marc McCay.  At the time no one could predict the success that was to come under the leadership of Coach McCay.  

      McCay's 10 years at the helm is the longest tenure of any head coach to date.  During those 9 years LCA enjoyed the highest levels of membership and success yet.  McCay developed and coached multiple state champions including Taylor Sanders, Luke Haskett, Grace Haskett and Mike Payne.  The board encountered a great deal of turnover at this time leaving small group of parents.  Hewetson, Paul Sanders, Damon Hall, Teressa Fields, Jenny Morgan, and Alice Robbins carried out the formal mission of the club.  In the summer of 2003 LCA hosted its first sanctioned home meet The Quarry Classic.  The Spring of 2013 would mark the end of Coach McCay’s time with LCA.   

     Over the next 5 year's LCA would fall under the leadership of both Adam Young (2013 - 2015, 2017 - Present) and Martha Lasher (2015 - 2017).  The club has continued to grow, produce a state champion, Paul Gabhart, and at present is considered one of the top clubs in Indiana.  

     In 2017 the Quarry Classic was renamed the Hubert Wheatley Memorial Classic to honor the Bedford resident's contributions to the sport and the club.

Past USA Swimming Charters4
1986            Bedford Starfish Swim Club
1988-1989:   Bedford Swim Team
1992-1999:   Bedford Swim Club
2000 -          Lawrence County Aquatics, Inc.

1Interviews were conducted with Jan  Buker, Marge Lee, Judy Elliott, Hubert Wheatley, Cassie Wheatley, Jim Shaver, Bill  Deckard, Rachel Fields, Rita Riley, Starr DeJesus, Ginny Schultz, Larry Zoller, Jenny Morgan, Damon Hall, Dale Robinson, Marilyn Robinson, and Missy Neff.
2Bedford Starfish Handbook, 1977
3List provided by Judy Elliott and Marge Lee, 07-24-11.
4List provided by Sandy Vollmer, Member Services, USA Swimming, 07-27-11.

Head Coaches

Jan Buker            1966 - 1973

Larry Zoller          1976 - 1989

Bill Deckard         1989 - 1998

Mark McCay        2002 - 2012

Adam Young        2013 - 2015

Martha Lasher     2015 - 2017

Adam Young        2017 - Present