When Jaime Lewis, a University of Florida graduate, took over as the head coach of the Gator Swim Club in early 2012, she had quite a challenge before her. If this season, though, her first full one in yards, is a measuring stick of her success, so far we’ll grade her and her staff an “A”. The 11-12 girls from GSC broke a National Age Group Record on Thursday in the 200 yard free relay at the Florida Swimming Spring Age Group Championships.
In that race, the group of Kirschtine Balbuena (25.45), Kaitlyn Cronin (24.48), Isabel Ivey (24.78), and Talia Bates (24.54) combined for a 1:39.24. That’s a relay time that most high school coaches would go crazy over, and these girls are but 6th-and-7th graders.
The old record belonged to the Aquajets Swim Team in suburban Minneapolis from 2010 (this is the home club of Olympian Rachel Bootsma, though she was not a part of that relay). The Gator girls will hope to repeat their success, as the Aquajets went on to break many 13-14 age group records in 2012.
The meet runs through Sunday at the Selby Aquatics Center in Sarasota, Florida.