Tribune-Star staff report
TERRE HAUTE —
Swimmer Sam McCarter is doing well at the U.S. Paralympics Spring Swimming Nationals event this week.
McCarter, a freshman at Terre Haute North Vigo High School, qualified for the finals of the 100-meter breaststroke on Thursday, but was disqualified in the finals. His mother Mary McCarter said a judge told Sam that he took an extra kick in the race.
That was disappointing to Sam, she said, but he got back into the water on Friday to compete in the 50-meter breaststroke. He finished just one one-hundredth of a second off his best time in that race. But again, he was disqualified.
“It’s just one of those things,” Mary McCarter told the Tribune-Star on Friday from the aquatics center, where Sam was in the water practicing for today’s 200-meter breaststroke. “If a judge sees something he doesn’t like, they discuss it with the other judges and then they decide. But the U.S. team coach told Sam not to worry about it. It’s better to be DQ’d here than in the World Paralympics.”
The time that Sam has spent with the Paralympics coach has been well worth the trip, Sam’s mother said.
Sam practiced for the spring nationals by swimming daily at the South Vermillion High School pool. His family lives in Clinton, but he and younger brother Henry attend school in Terre Haute.
Whatever the outcome of today’s race, the McCarters are still looking ahead to their next Paralympics meet in five weeks in Ohio.
“Hopefully, we’ll finish on a good note here,” Mary said.