Lakeside graduates Garrett Stanley, Matthew Williams and Jason Arne, Paideia graduate Rishi Kowalski and Westminster grad Michael Eriksen have swam together for more than a decade as part of the Twin Lakes Thunder Bolts.
Catherine Stansbury, the quintet’s Bolts coach, said have meant a lot to her through the years.
“The longevity in this program and commitment to the team is what makes this a special group,” Stansbury said. “They all started out as summer league swimmers and really found a love for swimming.”
Stansbury said how the entire group stayed together from around 6 years old to now is special.
“A lot of times when the kids get to be 11, 12 or 13 they drop off and start to find other things,” she said. “This has just been a group of guys who has just stayed together. They are just good people who are great to be around. I am going to miss them.”
One motivation to stay together may have been the opportunity to continue to break records. The five athletes broke many pool records in their rise from beginning swimmers to high school standouts.
“They have won probably every award we give out here at the pool,” Stansbury said.
But the group is not simply a bunch of talented swimmers. Each one of them gives back to the Twin Lakes community.
“They are definitely great mentors to the younger kids out here,” Stansbury said. “These guys just get what community means. And when this group of guys gets up for a relay, everybody comes to the edge of the pool because they want to watch them.”
The Thunder Bolts compete as part of the DeKalb Swim League. Stansbury said since there are five guys, it is always a battle to see who will run the relays, but no matter who does, the group either wins the race or comes in second.
“They have set county records through the years,” Stansbury said.
The other two graduates leaving the program are Lakeside grads Stephanie Field and Meredith Gage.