The End of an Era
When Lydia Ely steps onto the starting blocks at Oakland University this weekend, it will be the end of an era in St. Johns Swimming.
The End of an Era
by Lori Ely
It all started 21 years ago when our oldest children, Jacob (8yrs) and Megan (7yrs) started swimming for the Sea Lions who were coached by Kim Brewbaker at the time. That began 2 decades of swim history in our family. We have spent endless hours at “the pool” over the years. Our kids have joked that whenever they smell chlorine, they think of “home”. We have had boys with bald heads and shaved legs and girls with extremely hairy legs all in the name of SJ tradition. Jeff and I as parents have been through 20 High School Conferences, 21 Waverly relays, 6 senior nights and more meets that we could ever remember! All six Ely children have earned their Varsity letter each year they competed for the SJ Redwings.
Lydia, the last of the Ely’s is now a senior. She was top 8 at conference 6 times in HS. She is part of the Medley relay that currently holds the pool and Varsity records. She has been a state team member 3 years. The Medley relay and 400 free relays took 14th and 16th at states her freshman year. She took 13th individually in the 200 free her SO year. Unfortunately, Lydia missed her Jr year when she tore her ACL in gym class. However, she showed determination and worked hard to come back and become conference champion in the breaststroke this year. She is headed back to states individually and as part of 2 relay teams. Lydia has served as a captain of the team this year. She plans on swimming in college next year.
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