Lake Oswego swimmers break national relay record
They say that records are meant to be broken but, quite frankly, national swim records aren't broken that often and they certainly aren't broken often in the state of Oregon.
But, on Jan. 13, four Lake Oswego Swim Club members, Grace Carlson, Cassidy Robinson, Brenda Cha and Celia Keany, broke the national record in the 200-yard freestyle relay.
At the Cat Invitational, held in Corvallis, the team swam an astounding 1:40.25 in the event, besting the record by 0.18 seconds. Ironically, the record had been set just a month previously in Colorado but prior to that, it had not been broken since 1996.
'The national records are ridiculously fast. On average they get broken about once every 10 years,' LOSC coach Coley Stickels said.
Two weeks earlier, the girls broke the state record in the event and realized that the national mark was within their grasp.
'They were close. At that point they were within six or seven tenths of a second. The girls hadn't swum that relay for most of the year. It's actually kind of a new event for them,' Stickels said.
It is a remarkable achievement and one that firmly establishes the girls as world-class swimmers.
Stickels hopes that the group of 11 and 12 year olds can recognize just how rare the accomplishment is.
'It's huge. In terms of age group swimming this is as big as it gets. It's the highest honor you can get short of the Olympics. These records are so coveted,' Stickels said.
Each of the girls on the relay team currently holds a state record as well and three of them hold state records in individual events.
'The girls are pretty diverse. All of them have the potential to swim at the highest level,' Stickels said.
The record also continues to establish the LOSC as one of the premier clubs in the nation. The team's next meet is the state championships, also held in Corvallis, and Stickels believes that some state records could fall if not another national mark.
The club's medley relay team is currently ranked second in the nation.