While some 12 year-olds spent the weekend exercising their thumbs on their phones, Caroline Gmelich, 12, of , spent her time in the pool.
Gmelich competed Sunday at Rutgers University in the New Jersey Junior Olympics for swimming. The Juinor Olympics represent the highest level of swimming competition in the state, and swimmers can only compete if they achieve difficult time cuts per event.
The seventh grader from and swims year round for the Central Jersey Aquatic Club (CJAC), qualified for nine events in the 11-12 girls age group. She competed in those nine events (the maximum a swimmer can do at a meet) and two relays. Between 50 and 60 swimmers qualified in each event.
Gmelich finished first in the 200 yard freestyle and the 200 yard backstroke; second in the 50 yard backstroke, 100 yard freestyle, and the 200 yard individual medley. She took home third in the 50 yard freestyle and the 100 yard backstroke; fourth in the 100 yard individual medley; and seventh in the 100 yard butterfly. These results made Gmelich the Top Point Earner for the Junior Olympics.
These results qualify Gmelich to compete in eight events in the East Coast zones meet in Webster, NY in two weeks. The zones meet is comprised of 12 separate regions on the East Coast including New Jersey, New England, Maryland, Connecticut and Virginia. Only the fastest swimmers in those regions are invited to compete at Zones.
Cathy Corcione is Gmelich's coach at CJAC.