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Ending on a high note

Senior swimmer breaks school record

MAKING+BUBBLES%3A+Senior+Ashley+Harter+swimming+the+last+lap+of+the+200+medley+relay+at+the+Holiday+Invite+in+December.+The+Lady+Rebels+took+home+6th+at+this+meet.+
MAKING BUBBLES: Senior Ashley Harter swimming the last lap of the 200 medley relay at the Holiday Invite in December. The Lady Rebels took home 6th at this meet.

MAKING BUBBLES: Senior Ashley Harter swimming the last lap of the 200 medley relay at the Holiday Invite in December. The Lady Rebels took home 6th at this meet.

Photo by Rachell Ludge

Photo by Rachell Ludge

MAKING BUBBLES: Senior Ashley Harter swimming the last lap of the 200 medley relay at the Holiday Invite in December. The Lady Rebels took home 6th at this meet.

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Senior Ashley Harter broke a 7-year-old record set by 2011 alum Autumn Murphy in the 500 freestyle at sectionals to round out the girls’ swim season.

Harter started swimming for coach Ed Merkling when she was ten, and now she swims under his coaching on both high school and club teams.

During Harter’s freshman year, she swam a variety of events, but by the end of this season she was set on the 500 freestyle.

“I swam the 200 free, 100 Breaststroke and 200 IM [Individual Medley], but by the end of my frosh year, my main event was the 500,” Harter said.

Harter initially broke the record at the preliminary rounds on Thursday and then went on to break her own school record on Saturday at finals.

“Breaking the record on Thursday was amazing,” Harter said. “When I dropped time on Saturday I could not believe it.  I started crying tears of happiness–how cliche. What I was most happy about, though, was the support that [Merkling] and the whole team had given me throughout the whole weekend. Truly blessed with the best.”

At sectionals, Harter placed fourth in the 500 freestyle as well as fifth in 50 freestyle, 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay.

Although Harter is unsure about whether she wants to swim in college, one thing is for sure that she isn’t ready to give up the sport.

“Swimming has always been a huge part of my life, and I don’t know if I’m ready to leave just yet,” Harter said.

Harter will continue to swim on a club team under the coaching of Merkling until she departs for college, where she will have to make the difficult decision of continuing swimming or ending her career.

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Ending on a high note