HARTINGTON — Seventh-grade twins, Ayden and Madelyn Rosener, and fellow Hartington-Newcastle student, Shawn Pinkelman, have found a way to parlay their love for swimming into success in the pool
The Roseners, who attend junior high at Hartington-Newcastle public schools, are members of the Vermillion (S.D.) Area Swim Team that took part at the state short course meet March 1 in Watertown, S.D., at the Prairie Life Wellness Center and came back with plenty of hardware.
They also booked passage to the regional meet at the University of Minnesota March 29.
Madelyn went to the state meet in three events – 50-yard and 100-yard backstrokes and the 50-yard freestyle, finishing 11th, 15th and 23rd respectively, while her brother qualified for state in seven events.
Ayden went in the 50 and 100-yard freestyle, the 50 and 100-yard backstroke, the 50 and 100-yard butterfly and the 50-yard IM. He won the crown in 50 backstroke, took second in the 100 backstroke and brought home two third-place medals and three fourth-place finishes.
He had also won a freestyle title when he was younger.
Not bad for Northeast Nebraskans kids that have to drive 20-30 miles to swim.
Kathy Rosener has watched both of her kids compete and excel for the club in Vermillion, a trip of about 20 minutes that is needed since swim club options are bereft in Northeast Nebraska.
It all started with swim lessons when they were 3 years old and watched the team practice afterward and wanted to take their own shot.
“I am proud of both of them,” the twins’ mother said. “We do it in the winter, but not in the summer. Ayden likes baseball and football, and Madelyn likes piano, volleyball and track. Ayden has gone to state every year and goes in seven events. Last year, Madelyn didn’t go, and she also took a year off to try gymnastics.”
Madelyn was pleased to have finally made a big run to state.
“Last year, I had to sit up in the stands and had to watch Ayden, and he was doing so good,” Madelyn said. “So I thought, I wished I could do that. So, I worked my butt off to get to state in those events. It feels amazing.
“I feel so proud of myself that I went out and did it and came back with some awards.”
Madelyn feels confident in her backstroke, but she wants to improve in the breaststroke with the hope of competing at the IM.
“Every time I go super-fast in those first 50 in butterfly and backstroke and get ahead by a couple of feet,” she said. “But then when I do the breaststroke, all these people are catching up to me because I am not as good at that stroke.”
Madelyn admits she has designs on becoming a collegiate track athlete but will try to keep raising her swimming skills to, hopefully, capture more honors in the pool before she is done.”
Ayden was glad his sister got to enjoy her own moment at the state meet.
“It makes me feel that she is doing her best,” he said. “She went 100 percent.”
Ayden has finished in the top five for high-point swimmer the last four years.
“I feel I could have done a little bit better,” he said. “I feel I could have gotten a little bit better place than fourth his year. I will need to practice more. I am not wanting to swim as a career sport, but it’s good exercise.
“I do want to see how far I can get, before I decide I don’t want to do it anymore.”
Pinkelman swims for the Yankton swimming club and he finished second in the boys 15-16 100-yard breaststroke and fifth in the 200-yard breaststroke for his best finishes at the meet.