BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The Bakersfield Swim Club is used to meets in Clovis and Hanford.
For the group of 10 to 17-year-olds, flying across the country for a competition was a new experience.
“I met a girl from Illinois, and from Maine,” 12-year-old swimmer Sarah-Jane Osborne said.
Once they got to the 31st annual Speedo Winter Championships, the Swim Club hit the pool like it was their training ground. Four swimmers posted multiple top-ten finishes, and across the team, personal bests were shattered.
“The most exciting part was probably when I saw I broke 20 minutes on my mile,” 12-year-old Carter Stiles said.
Finishes even more impressive for a team fresh off a coaching crisis.
“We had a coach leave us in the middle of a season,” ‘team dad’ Jack Osborne said.
Enter coach Shelby Bane, who’s led the Swim Club since June.
“She came into our team at a point when we had a small crisis,” Jack Osborne said. “She’s just come in and grown this team and supported these athletes, and it’s been awesome.”
Her impact was already felt in the Winter Championships.
“Ever since I was young, I’ve gotten nervous, and she’s definitely helped a lot of kids be more comfortable in the water, which is awesome,” Sarah-Jane Osborne said.
Osborne admits she felt those nerves at the Winter Championships. But that didn’t stop her from posting four top-ten finishes, tied with ten-year-old Sophia Sorensen for the most on the team.
“It felt like a lot of hard work paid off, and working through physical and mental stuff paid off, to go to the meet and do pretty good,” Osborne said.
Osborne, Sorensen, and the rest of the Bakersfield Swim Club returned from Florida all smiles.