EDWARDSVILLE – Bob Rettle is thrilled to have Phoebe Gremaud on his Edwardsville YMCA Breakers swimming team.
“She’s a star,” the Breakers coach said. “She comes from a family of swimming phenoms.”
Gremaud turned in a solid performance in the second annual Independence Celebration swimming meet at the Chuck Fruit Aquatic Center in Edwardsville High, getting first-place finishes in four events in the 13-14 girls division. She won the 100-meter backstroke with a time of 1 minute, 9.28 seconds and the 200-meter backstroke in 2:27.00. and helped the 200-meter medley and freestyle relay teams pick up victories.
Gremaud, who also competes with the Water Works swimming team, qualified for the Region VIII Central Sectionals on July 20-23 at Columbia, Mo., in both the 100 and 200-meter backstroke.
“In the 200 back, I could have gone a little bit faster,” said Gremaud, who will be an eighth-grader at Lincoln Middle School this fall. “I felt pretty strong in my 100 back. I was going for a 1:08 in the 100 back, but 1:09 works.”
Also for the Breakers, Cooper Scharff won three events in the 11-12 boys division at the meet. He placed first in the 200-meter intermediate medley, the 50-meter backstroke and the 100-meter backstroke.
Scharff is also a member of the Water Works swimming team. On Thursday, he set a team-record mark in the 50-meter backstroke in a meet against the Paddlers Pirates.
The Independence Celebration meet features over 300 swimmers from 18 teams at the Chuck Fruit Aquatic Center, which opened in 2014. The meet has 70 events and it began on Friday and ended on Sunday.
“There is not a whole lot of people here, so you really get to pay attention to detail on what you’re swimming,” said Gremaud, who has been competing with the Breakers since she was 5. “It goes fast so you’re not here all day.”
The Breakers finished third out of 18 teams with 1,867.5 points. The Rockwood Swim Club won the meet with 4,242 and the Flyers Aquatic Swim Team from St. Louis was second with 4,084.33.
The Tri-City Area Tidalwaves from Godfrey finished seventh with 765.5 points.
Nathan Kotzamanis won six events in the 8 and under boys division – the 100-meter backstroke, 50-meter freestyle, 50-meter backstroke, 50-meter butterfly, 100-meter freestyle and the 200-meter freestyle.
Christian Kotzamanis placed first in five events in the 9-10 boys division – the 50-meter freestyle, the 100-meter butterfly, 200-meter intermediate medley and the 50-meter backstroke.
Granite City resident Emma Cox placed in the top 10 in five events in the 13-14 girls division for the Rockwood Swim Club. She finished fourth in the 200-meter breaststroke, fifth in the 200-meter backstroke, sixth in the 400-meter freestyle, seventh in the 100-meter backstroke and 10th in the 200-meter freestyle. Cox also helped the 200-meter medley and freestyle relay teams finish third.
Josie Bushell, who will be a freshman at Edwardsville High, also turned in a strong effort in the 13-14 girls division for the Breakers at this weekend’s meet, placing first in the 200-meter intermediate medley and was part of the medley and freestyle relay teams that finished first.
“We have super high hopes for her,” Rettle said.
Natalie Edwards, who will be a senior at O’Fallon High this fall, won the 200-meter intermediate medley and the 200-meter freestyle in the 15-and-over girls division. She swam a 2:30.11 in the 200 IM and a 2:12.25 in the 200 freestyle, qualifying for sectionals in both events.
“Natalie was on fire this weekend,” Rettle said.
Addison Kaufmann from Alton, who attends Cleveland State University, won the 100-meter breaststroke in the 15-and-over boys division with a sectional-qualifying time of 1:12.51.
Briana Pearce, who attends Belleville West, won the 50-meter freestyle in the 15-and-over girls division in 29.11 seconds.
In the 13-14 girls division, Allison Naylor competed in both winning freestyle and medley relay teams. Olivia Ramirez competed in the medley relay and Autumn Grinter swam for the freestyle relay squad.