DARKE COUNTY – A pair of sophomore who excelled in multiple events this season are The Daily Advocate’s swimmers of the year.
The Daily Advocate’s girls swimmer of the year is Greenville’s Isabella Gable, and The Daily Advocate’s boys swimmer of the year is Versailles’ Cole Condon.
Gable was the lone Darke County swimmer to qualify for the Ohio High School Athletic Association state swim meet this season. In the Division II state meet she placed in both of her events, finishing third in the girls 200 yard freestyle with a personal-best time of 1:51.34 and finishing seventh in the girls 500 yard freestyle with a time of 5:05.40.
“She had a great season,” Greenville swim coach Mollie Mendoza said. “She had improved from last year’s performance at state. Last year I think she went into state competition not sure what was going to happen. It was all new to her. This year she kind of knew what was expected, and I think that helped alleviate some of her nerves.”
Gable had a successful performance at state even though she was battling bronchitis and an ear infection at the time.
“She’s definitely a hard worker, and she proved that in the pool,” Mendoza said.
Gable led all Darke County girls this season in the 100 freestyle (52.32), 200 freestyle (1:51.34), 500 freestyle (5:01.53), 100 backstroke (1:03.90), 100 butterfly (1:03.34) and 200 individual medley (2:07.79). She was second in the county in the 50 freestyle (26.50) and 100 breaststroke (1:16.11).
“She has been such an asset to the team because of her versatility,” Mendoza said. “She’s able to jump into any event and be able to perform well no matter what it is.”
Mendoza credits Gable’s success to years of swimming experience and a strong work ethic.
“This year she has really buckled down,” the Greenville coach said. “She has made it a goal to improve all her swimming times. She’s been more focused this year than ever before.”
Being just a sophomore, Gable still has opportunities ahead of her to become even better.
“I know that whatever she decides to swim next year and the year after she’ll do quite well,” Mendoza said.
Condon led all Darke County boys with a time of 22.32 in the 50 freestyle, a time of 49.97 in the 100 freestyle and a time of 57.44 in the 100 butterfly. He also was among the leaders in the 200 freestyle (2:02.39), 500 freestyle (6:01.65), 100 backstroke (1:10.47) and 100 breaststroke (1:11:88).
“He can swim anything,” Versailles swim coach Penny Cromwell said
This year the Versailles sophomore qualified for four events at the OHSAA district meet including two relays and two individual events. His best finish at districts was a seventh place finish in the 50 yard freestyle.
“He’s determined,” Cromwell said. “He’s got that determined attitude. He goes out and works hard every day at practice.”
At the Coldwater Invitational, the unofficial Midwest Athletic Conference swim meet, Condon broke the meet record in the 50 yard freestyle with a time of 22.75 in the first leg of the 200 yard freestyle relay.
Throughout the season Condon surprised his coaches with his continuous improvement.
“He got faster and faster and faster,” Cromwell said. “He was always breaking his times.”
Condon was named to the Lima Area Swim Coaches Association’s all-Lima area first team this season.
Even though he was just a sophomore, Condon already is a leader for Versailles’ swim team.
“He always motivated the other kids,” Cromwell said. “The team members looked up to him.”
With two more years of high school swimming ahead of him, Cromwell expects to see big things out of Condon.
“I’m anxious to see where he goes the next two years because he’s going to be a force to be reckoned with. He’s going to be dominant.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.