News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

March 20, 2013

Recent South swimmers Roach, Bray heading to DI nationals

TERRE HAUTE — I’m sure most of you with office jobs can relate.

When work gets busy, sometimes it’s easy to skim over our emails. After all, how many times do we need to read the same nonsense from alleged Nigerians wanting to make us rich if we’ll send them several thousand dollars first?

So after having three consecutive days off, that almost happened to me when I returned to work Tuesday. Then I realized that the message from Jeff Thompson, Terre Haute South High School’s boys and girls swimming coach, contained significant news.

Thompson said two former Wabash Valley athletes will be competing in the NCAA Division I swimming and diving championships March 28-30 in the Indiana University Natatorium at Indianapolis.

“During my competitive swimming career in TH [Terre Haute], since the early ‘80s, we have NEVER had a swimmer from this area compete at the D-One championships and now we have TWO!” an excited Thompson said in the email. “The only swimmer, to my knowledge, who has EVER competed at this level is Melissa Card … when she swam at SMU [Southern Methodist University] from 1991 to 1995.”

Thompson realized later that North graduate Jenny Somerville of Villanova also competed in the Division I championships in the mid-2000s. But then again Card is now Melissa Thompson, his current wife, so no wonder his memory was cloudy.

Back to the present, the two athletes Thompson spoke of are IU freshman Nolan Roach, who will represent the Hoosiers on their 200-yard freestyle relay squad, and Louisville sophomore Addison Bray, who will swim in the 100 and 200 breaststroke and the 400 medley relay. Both are South graduates.

“This is quite a big deal for these two young men and their families,” Thompson emphasized. “It is a huge accomplishment.”

I’ll attempt to follow up with Roach and Bray before March 28.

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