Carmel High School swimmer Erin Sparks was more than surprised to learn she was being inducted into the Indiana High School Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame.
“I didn’t know it even existed,” Sparks said.
Sparks, who swam from 2001 to 2004, is one of four CHS swimmers being inducted into the Hall of Fame April 14 in Indianapolis. Joining her will be Thomas Hickson (1989-90), Lindsay (Carlberg) Ramsey (1995-98) and Katie (Simmons) Smart (1997-2000).
Sparks was a member of four state championship teams, winning three individual state titles and a member of four state championship relay teams.
As senior, Sparks won the 200-yard individual medley and the 100 breaststroke for the second consecutive year. She swam the anchor leg of the 400 freestyle relay and joined her sister, Megan, on the winning 200 medley relay. In addition, she was named Indiana High School Athletic Association Mental Attitude Award winner for girls swimming.
“The best memory of my senior year is I was a senior and my sister was a freshman,” Sparks said. “Being on the championship teams and jumping in the pool (to celebrate) at the end are always great memories.”
Sparks, an attorney in Nashville, Tenn., swam for the University of Alabama. Megan swam at the University of South Carolina and lives in Chicago.
Hickson, 47, who lives in Poplar Grove, Ill., is a major airlines pilot, doing international flights for the past 20 years. He swam for Carmel his junior and senior year. His family moved from Toronto for his father’s work in Anderson. The family originally planned to live on Morse Lake but couldn’t find a home, so while living in a temporary condo, he went to Noblesville High School for a year before the family bought a home in Carmel. He swam one year for NHS before transferring.
Hickson won the 200 freestyle and was second in the 100 freestyle as a junior. As a senior, he won the 200 freestyle and placed second in the 100 freestyle again to help lead the Carmel boys team to its first state title.
Winning that first state team title and the friends he made are what stands out most of his high school career.
“It was more of a family than anything else,” Hickson said. “It was a nice group of swimmers we were with.”