Freshman leads Carmel Swim Club to Winter Junior Championships title


The Carmel Swim Club displays the Winter Junior Championships trophy. (Photo courtesy of Carmel Swim Club)

A freshman helped the Carmel Swim Club achieve a first.

Carmel High School freshman Alex Shackell earned seven gold medals and two silver medals in girls events to propel the Carmel Swim Club to its first Winter Junior Championships title Dec. 11 in Greensboro, N.C.

“Alex has been improving rapidly over the past year at Carmel Swim Club,” Plumb said. “It was great to see her best performances on a big stage, and we are excited for her future.”


The Winter Junior Nationals, which started Dec. 8, were divided into east at Greensboro and west at Austin, Texas.

Carmel won with 659 points, topping SwimMAC Carolina, which had 617.5 points.

“Going against some of the largest clubs in the east is always a challenge, but we never want to use it as an excuse,” Plumb said. “We demonstrated at this meet that we can win with the quality athletes who could compete.”

On Dec. 10, Shackell won the 100-yard butterfly, CHS teammate Berit Berglund captured the 100 backstroke and Devon Kitchel won the 100 breaststroke. Kitchel has always swam competitively for the Carmel Swim Club but swims for Zionsville Community High School.

Shackell participated on five winning relay teams. She also won the 200 butterfly and was second in the 200 individual medley and 50 freestyle. Berglund, Kitchel, Shackell and Gretchen Lueking set Carmel’s only national record in 3:33.88 in the 400 medley relay.

Plumb is encouraged with what he sees. CHS will seek its 36th consecutive IHSAA girls swimming state title in February 2022 and the eighth consecutive state title on the boys side.

“It is highly encouraging to be this fast now, and we know we have more work to do,” Plumb said. “Ryan Malicki and Aaron Shackell each had top-eight finishes and we had four relays in the top eight.”


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