The Central/Eastern/Southeastern District this year looked very different due to Covid. The District had to travel up to Bowling Green State University to swim rather than at Ohio State University. They also cut several qualifying spots from the meet from 30 relay and 30 individuals to 16 relays and 24 individuals which turned out to be more than any other district in the state had to cut. This meant that Cambridge’s district had the hardest time to qualify for the meet compared to the other districts. This change ended up hitting the Cambridge Swim Team hard as they would have had several from both the Boys and Girls teams qualify if the team had been in another district. However, due to the changes, the team only qualified four swimmers from the Boys team in junior Alex Shockley, sophomore Xander Caldwell, sophomore Conner Myers, and sophomore Trey Stottsberry. The boys headed to Bowling Green wishing that the others that should have qualified were with them on the journey but knowing that they needed to represent Cambridge well and prove that the team belonged at Districts and that is just what they did.
Alex Shockley got the day started for the team in the 50 Freestyle which he had qualified in the fastest heat with the best chance of moving on to state. Alex, after breaking the school record at Sectionals last Saturday with a 23.41, did not disappoint as he broke his own record again swimming a 23.32 and tying for 7th place. In doing so, Alex also became the first District medalist Cambridge has had in several years. Alex then competed in the 100 Freestyle where he ended up taking time off his personal best by swimming a 52.87 and placing 20th. Alex is now only a little over 1 second away from the school record in the 100 Freestyle. The Boys 200 Freestyle Relay, consisting of Alex Shockley, Xander Caldwell, Conner Myers, and Trey Stottsberry, then had their opportunity to swim and they were able to take time off of their team best by swimming a 1:40.65 and placing 15th. This relay team is now 4 seconds away from the school record and are very young and driven to break the record next season. During the meet, we were informed that due to Alex tying in the 50 Freestyle, they needed to have a swim-off after the meet was over in case the time was good enough to qualify as an at large time. In the swim-off, Alex was unsuccessful in winning but was able to break the school record for the second time on the day and third time in a week with a time of 23.13.
“This year has really been a challenge and I am first just grateful that we were able to have a full season. As for what the boys did at Districts, I could not be more proud of them. With the situation the way it was, they had a lot of pressure on them to represent Cambridge and the rest of their team well. They also felt like they were missing something with the rest of the team not being able to be there with them. Even with all of this, they still came out and swam well and did a very nice job of representing their school and the team. The relay team is very young and very driven and I have no doubt they will be school record holders in the near future. What Alex has been able to do over the last week has also been just remarkable to watch. I don’t think I have ever seen a record broken so many times in less than a week. He has really worked hard for me over the last 3 years and it really has shown with him becoming the fastest swimming sprinter Cambridge has ever had. I also want to acknowledge that in a normal year, we would have had several others from both teams that would have qualified to compete but were unable to do so. This process was not fair to them in how it was handled and they should receive the credit they are due as well as they worked hard to reach the goal of a qualifying time to have it taken away from them. Overall, with all of the obstacles that have been put in place in this year, I am extremely proud of how this team has finished the year. They worked through all of these obstacles and just kept getting faster. I want to wish the best of luck to our lone senior in Sydney Mercer as she will be missed. With that said, the team took a huge jump this year with being a young team and it shows that the future is very bright for the team. I cannot wait to see what this team is able to accomplish next year as we take another step forward.” – Coach Byerly
The following are swimmers that would have qualified for Districts in a normal year:
Xander Caldwell – 27th Boys 50 Freestyle
Boys 400 Freestyle Relay – 17th (Xander Caldwell, Dalton Huhn, Conner Myers, Alex Shockley)
Girls 200 Medley Relay – 20th (Sydney Mercer, Zoey Cahoon, Ava Byerly, Sophia Harper)
Girls 200 Freestyle Relay – 23rd (Sydney Mercer, Sophia Harper, Zoey Cahoon, Ava Byerly)
Girls 400 Freestyle Relay – 17th (Sydney Mercer, Sophia Harper, Trystan King, Ava Byerly)
The team would like to thank all of the support they have received this season from their sponsors, the community, and the Cambridge staff and administrators! We could not have gotten through this tough year without all of the support and help that we have received. Thank you!