Barren Swim Team

Grant Branham, 8th grade, swims the butterfly during warm-ups. Branham swims the butterfly and backstroke. Photo by Leslie Kidd Photography.

GLASGOW – The Trojans and Trojanettes of Barren County’s swim team have jumped out to a positive start this season as they have won three of their five swim meets thus far.

Led by Coach Kelley Bauer, who is in her first year at the helm, the team has several athletes who will be competing fiercely at the region meet on Feb. 7 and 8 in Owensboro.

“We have more swimmers than we have had in a long time,” Bauer said of her team. “We have 23 who are actively swimming right now, and we have a few more who are injured. Because of that we have really been able to compete and do things we haven't done in the past because we used to not have enough boys to do a relay team. Now we have enough boys to do all three relays.”

As of press time, results were not yet in for Tuesday night’s meet at Russell County, but Bauer said that she assumed they won that meet as well which would actually give Barren County four wins out of six swim meets.

Perhaps the biggest individual standout on the team is team captain Hannah Doyle who swims very well in the 100-meter butterfly as a junior.

“She is really strong in the butterfly,” Bauer said of Doyle. “As of last night, she is less than one second away from breaking the school record in the 100 meter butterfly. At region, I’m confident she will be in the top 16. She is shooting for the top eight. Her goal is to be competing for state.”

Doyle is currently seeded sixth in their upcoming meet on Saturday where the team will be swimming against some powerhouse swimming programs in the region.

Only the top two swimmers officially qualify for the state meet. Doyle will hope to be right there in the mix to make it out of region.

Joining Doyle as some of the strongest swimmers on the team are freshmen Macy Garrett and Julia Kinsman.

According to Bauer, Garrett is becoming very competitive in the backstroke and is very close to breaking a school record in that style, but she is even stronger in the 100-meter freestyle. Kinsman will also be shooting to finish in the top eight at region in the breaststroke.

“A lot of our goals is to actually qualify for day two of region,” Bauer said. “They bring the top sixteen in for day two. The top eight earn points for your team.”

On the boys’ side, eighth-grader Grant Branham isn’t too far off from the school record in the boys’ backstroke. Branham is also looking to have a solid showing at region as well.

Freshmen Will Fant has proved to be very strong in the 100-meter freestyle while freshman Lucas Romine has had positive showings in the breaststroke.

With the team being filled of so many young athletes, the future looks bright for Bauer who is hoping to see success beyond region meets.

“Hopefully over the years we have some state competitors,” Bauer said. “It’s been awhile since we have had that, and I definitely think that is possible.”

Not to be left out are the relay teams who have also been strong thus far. The girls’ medley relay team will be shooting for the second day as well, and boys’ relay team is still competing for their final spots on the team before region.

“Every meet we work to wheedle the time down,” Bauer said. “All of our goals for each individual swimmer is to wheedle down what you are swimming every race whether that’s a half-second or more than that.”

One of the most positive aspects on the season thus far that Bauer has noticed is the chemistry between her athletes.

“We have a lot of team support,” Bauer said. “Everyone cheers each other on at the end of their lanes. Even through it is an individual sport, it’s full of commodity and fun. I think that’s been great for this — especially for the new ones on the team.”

The team’s next meet will be on Saturday in Bowling Green as they compete in the “Best of the West” competition.

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