The Shelbyville Laker swim team may be the small fish in a big pond, but a quartet of Shelbyville Laker swimmers have still earned their way to the Southern Illinois All-Star Summer Swim Championships at Millstadt this Saturday, August 6.
Rachel West (age 15-18), Connor Russell (age 13-14), Kayla Donnel (age 13-14), and Madison Fox (age 11-12) each qualified in two events for the All-Star Championships. In order to make it to Millstadt, swimmers must finish in the top six places in at least one individual event at their respective conference meet. Swimmers may then enter up to four individual events, which may or may not be the events they swam at the conference meets.
West qualified in the 100-meter Freestyle and in the 100-meter Backstroke.
(age 15-18). Russell qualified in the 50-meter Freestyle and the 5-meter Butterfly. Donnel qualified in the 50-meter Butterfly and the 100-meter IM (individual medley). Fox qualified in the 50-meter Butterfly and in the 50-meter Freestyle.
The four Lakers who employed years of experience to get them the All-Star Championships. West, Russell, and Donnell have all been swimming for the Lakers for five years, while Fox has been swimming for three years.
The Shelbyville Laker Swim Team has changed conferences and contends with three teams from Champaign, their perennial nemesis Effingham and the closest thing to an equal Tuscola. The Lakers have been in existence for just eight years. The Lakers fielded a team of 30 swimmers this season, ages 6 & Under through age 18. However, their oldest competitor was West at age 15. The Laker season is over for 2011, except for quartet headed to the Millstadt.
Millstadt is a suburb of St. Louis in St. Clair County, Illinois, southwest of Belleville. The Millstadt Dolphin Swim Team is part of the Shawnee Swim Conference and the annual host of the Southern Illinois All-Star Summer Swim Championships.