A swim coach is being remembered 15 years after her death this week. The former Western County Outdoor Pool in Poolseville, Maryland will be named after coach Sarah E. Auer. Auer passed away in December 2002 on her way to an afternoon practice in a traffic incident when she was hit by a dump truck en route to coaching.
Sarah Auer coached the Poolsevile Piranhas Swim Team and the Rockville-Montgomery Swim Club. “This pool was a home away from home, a battleground on meet days, a nurturing school for the youngest swimmers,” said Tim Auer, Sarah’s brother, at the renaming ceremony. “It will always have Sarah’s soul here; now it will have her name as well.” He added that Sarah would have been extremely happy and also a little embarrassed about the renaming ceremony, probably saying “why are you making all this fuss about me?”
The community still feels the loss today which is a testament to the impact she had on others around her. “I think that we would have had a leader that would have gone on to do great things for our town,” said James Brown, President of Poolesville’s Town Commissioners, “not just all the things that she did, but all the things that she could have done. Would have done.”
Sarah coached many younger swimmers and one, Elizabeth Pepper, went on to receive a full ride scholarship to the University of Arizona. Pepper reflected to when she was 9 years old and remembered that coach Auer made everyone feel important and credits Auer to getting her started in the sport of swimming.
There is a scholarship in Auer’s name. The Sarah E. Auer Memorial Scholarship was established in 2003 to recognize MCSL high school seniors who have exhibited noteworthy qualities in other areas of endeavour. The scholarship is given every year at the start of the swim meet. The meet is held at the now Sarah H. Auer pool.