Every summer for 12 years, Anna, Betsy and Chris Hagnauer loved coming to Paddlers Pool.
“Paddlers has been kind of a home to us,” Chris said.
On July 19, the Hagnauer triplets saw their 12-year careers with the Paddlers Pirates swimming team come to an end after competing in the 200-meter medley relay at the Southwestern Illinois Swim Association Championships at Paddlers Pool in Granite City.
“It’s the only sport all three of us do,” Betsy said. “All three of us have done it from the beginning all together and we are all ending it together. It’s bittersweet.”
Anna, Betsy and Chris each competed in five events at the SWISA meet. They helped Paddlers place second in the five-team event with 1,746 points.
Chris finished seventh in the 200-meter freestyle, eighth in the 100-meter freestyle, ninth in the 50-meter freestyle and helped the 200-meter medley and freestyle relay teams place third.
Anna placed third in the 50 freestyle, fifth in the 200 freestyle and seventh in the 50 butterfly and Betsy finished fifth in the 100 intermediate medley, ninth in the 50 freestyle and 10th in the 100 breaststroke. Both girls helped the medley and freestyle relay teams place third.
The Hagnauer triplets, who are 18, joined Paddlers when they were 6. Chris said his parents influenced him and his sisters to try out swimming.
“My parents wanted us to be safe in the water,” Chris said. “They were worried about us like if we were on a boat or by a lake somewhere and if we fall in the water, they want us to be strong enough swimmers to save ourselves if we needed to, so we started off doing it for like a life skill and it’s something we fell in love with.”
Chris also competed with the Granite City High School swimming team all four years. He played football his freshman and sophomore seasons, baseball his freshman year and volleyball his junior year.
“I always loved swimming,” Chris said. “I’ve been in different sports. I played soccer, football and baseball, but I never stuck with them. I played with them when I was a little kid and I played with them when I was in high school, but swimming has been a constant for me.”
This summer, Chris competed in mostly the freestyle events. He placed third in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle in the Pirates’ regular season finale against Summers-Port on July 14.
Chris said he will miss the morning swimming practices.
“We have 8:30 swimming practices every morning and it’s been like that every summer for the last 12 years,” Chris said. “Waking up in the morning during the summer seems like no fun, but it’s really having something to get you out of bed going into the summer because it’s nice to have something to get you moving.”
The Hagnauers were part of a senior class that included Maia Cain, Catherine Jakich and Cole De Yong. All of them were recognized before Paddlers’ meet with Summers-Port.
“I liked it on senior night when we all jumped in (the pool) together,” Betsy said. “It was our final thing together.”
Betsy also competed with the Paddlers diving team this summer. She finished second in the 15-18 girls’ division of the SWISA Diving Championships on July 18 at Summers-Port in Godfrey. In 2009, Betsy won her first SWISA diving championship after placing first in the 11-12 girls’ division in the league meet at Summers-Port.
“I’ve been diving for six or seven years,” Betsy said. “I wasn’t going to dive at first, but we were at a swim practice and (Paddlers diving coach) Kevin (Harris) came up to us and got a whole group of us to dive. They quit and left me. After the first year, I was there by myself, but I stuck with it, though. I didn’t think I was going to.”
Betsy competed in the intermediate medley and freestyle events for the swim team. She had second-place finishes in the 50-meter freestyle in meets against Splash City and Water Works.
Anna competed in the backstroke and freestyle events. She placed first in the 100-yard backstroke in the Pirates’ season-opening meet against Sunset Hills on June 11. She also had victories in the 50-meter freestyle against Splash City and Water Works.
Anna, who helped the Granite City girls’ soccer team win a regional championship in May, said she enjoyed competing with her siblings at Paddlers for all 12 years.
“We’re a close group,” she said. “So for the three of us to have something like swimming where we’re all in the water together and working on it together and we’re sticking with it, it’s special.”
Anna said Paddlers coach Celeste Furmanek has been a big help to her and her siblings.
“Celeste is amazing,” she said. “Celeste is by far the most consistent and most helpful coach.”
Next year, Anna and Chris will attend Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Betsy will go to Southwestern Illinois College on a full scholarship. All of them graduated from GCHS in May.
Chris said life will be different with he and his sisters not competing with the Pirates next summer.
“It will be three less kids,” he said.