Alex Vance, a Hidden Valley High School senior, Austin Criss, a North Cross School junior, Jacob Siar, a Cave Spring High School junior and Lauren Gray a senior at Hidden Valley High School will all advance to the Junior National Swim Meet held in Irvine, California Aug. 9 through 13.
“All of us have worked really hard as a team,” Criss said. “The four of us have all be together the whole time and so it was good to hear we all made the cut.”
All four swimmers agree that it has been the encouragement from their coach, Greg Lake and their team members that have helped them accomplish so much this season.
“We really like our coach,” they all agreed. We wouldn’t be here without his coaching.”
Siar, Vance, Criss, and Gray were the only four from their swim team that made it to Junior Nationals. They are considered a few of the top swimmers in America.
Gray said she began swimming when she was about eight-years-old and swam with the RVAA. Her favorite part of swimming is going to swim meets and racing. This will be her first Junior National meet.
Her accomplishments include: making it to Junior Nationals and being the state record holder in high school.
Siar said he began swimming when he was only six-years-old and his parents got him involved in it. He said he swam year-round in the summer league.
“I love competition. I love the meets and racing,” he said.
His accomplishments include: All-Timesland Swimmer of the Year, Ranked top 20 in National 200 Back Stroke and 1000 Freestyle.
Criss began swimming in the first grade, believe it or not, because his sister was taking swim lessons. Her coach at the time invited Criss to be on a swim team.
“I really like winning. I can’t really do that in anything else, except for swimming and I love my teammates so much,” Criss said.
His accomplishments include: State Champ in 200 Freestyle, Ranked 13 in the Nation in the 200 Butterfly for the 15 – 16 age group and First in the state for the 200 Fly in the 15 – 16 age group.
Vance began swimming at the age of 7-years when his sister started a summer league swim team. At first he didn’t want to swim in the league, but after much persuasion from his parents he gave in.
“Little did I know that I’d be swimming all the time,” Vance said.
His accomplishments include: At age 12 he was ranked 1st in the nation in the 11 and 12 age group for the 200 breast stroke, Two time Scholastic All-American, and swam the 100 breastroke in All American time.
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