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Meredith sets state record in swimming

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By Linda Ireland

 Madeline Meredith, already an accomplished swimmer at age 8, has set a new state record.

Madeline competed in the 50-yard backstroke at the Triton Super Sprint swim meet Jan. 27 at the University of Louisville Ralph Wright Natatorium. She was clocked at 35.82 in the 50-yard backstroke for ages 8-and-under, breaking Elaine Breeden’s 1991 record of 35.91. Breeden, of Lexington, won a silver medal in swimming in the 2008 summer Olympics.

Madeline, the daughter of Andy and Whitney Meredith, formerly of Hodgenville, is part of the Elizabethtown Dolphins swim team. Her coach, Maviael Sampaio, said he isn’t sure of the last time one of the Dolphins broke a state record, but “it has been more than 15 years.”

Madeline, a third-grader at St. Joseph’s Elementary School in Bardstown, began swimming competitively for the Dolphins at age 6. Her parents take her to E’town Swim and Fitness or T.K. Stone Middle School for one-hour practices every day.

Her 80-or-so teammates range from age 6 to high school.

Sampaio, who has coached the team for three years, said Madeline began taking private swimming lessons from his wife Ana a couple of years ago. He’s not surprised “by the evolution she has shown since she started.”

“We expected her to get there,” he said.

Madeline, he said, “likes to race and enjoys competition.”

Madeline’s younger brother, Hudson, 4, is following in her footsteps, taking youth swimming lessons.

Sampaio said he tries to provide a balanced workout of “drills and skills,” but the “most important thing is that she is having fun.”

Madeline was high point winner for her age group at the Triton Super Sprint, accumulating the highest number of points in all of her events. Besides winning the 50-yard backstroke, she won the 50-yard butterfly and 50-yard freestyle. She was second in the 50-yard breaststroke.  

She broke the state record for the 25-yard backstroke a few weeks ago with a time of 16.73; the record is 16.83. The time was not recognized because officials require three timers and there were only two available.

Madeline also won the gold in the 8-and-under Long-Course State Championship July 20 at the University of Louisville. She won the 50-meter freestyle, 50-meter backstroke and 200-meter medley relay. She took second in the 100-meter freestyle and 200-meter freestyle relay.

For more information about the Elizabethtown Dolphins, visit www.etowndolphins.com. Meet results are posted at: www.teamunify.com/EventShow.jsp?id=261096&team=etdks.