INA – Two top swimmers from the Rend Lake Aquatic Youth Otters team have kicked things into high gear and one of them is taking their season one step further.
Aaron Holt, 15, of Mt. Vernon, is on board for the YMCA swimming national championships, April 6, in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Holt will be competing in the backstroke at nationals after swimming a qualifying time of 55.71 in a Last Chance Meet last month in Centralia.
Katie Cully, 9, of Marion, won in two events at the Area Championships in Dekalb last month after swimming 30.80 for first place in the 8-under girls 50 freestyle and 14.19 for first in the 25 free.
Cully logged six, first-place finishes and broke five pool records in February on her way to the district championships. At that same meet, Holt posted two area qualifying times and finished top three in the 50 free, 100 butterfly, 100 free and 100 breast individual events.
Holt will be accompanied to Ft. Lauderdale by the team’s head coach, Laura Johnston, who is the Aquatics Center Director at RLC. The college and RLC Foundation are supporting the local swimmers by teaming up to cover part of their travel expenses and entry fees to the national championships.
This is the first year of existence for the RLAY Otters swim team through YMCA and USA Swimming. RLAY took a third place in Paducah; seconds in St. Charles, Mo., and Mt. Vernon, Ind.; and a first in Hannibal, Mo., in their first regular season. A second and third were in USA Swimming and a first and second were in YMCA Swimming. The Otters are the local team for YMCA and USA swimming. Ages range from 6-and-under up to 18.