Catholic Central’s Engel twins look to make waves at state swimming

Catholic Central swimming coach Kaiti Mader calls the Engel twins two of the sweetest girls she’s ever coached.

Well, until the juniors get on the starting blocks in swimming. Or the starting line in cross country. Or on the soccer field.

“They are the two sweetest and yet most competitive girls I think I have ever coached,” Mader said. “They’ll give you the shirt off their back until you are racing next to them.

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“Addie is the more quiet an reserved one. Once you get Bridget going she can be extremely outgoing. Bridget lets everything roll off her back. She takes everything in such stride where other people would be shaking in their boots. Not Bridget.”

Bridget and Addie took their competitive edge to the Division II swimming state championships Thursday and Friday in Canton. The duo both qualified in the 100-yard breaststroke for the second straight season. Bridget enters as the No. 3 seed based on last week’s state-wide district qualifying times and Addie is No. 8.

“We’re hoping for a podium finish and that they are happy with their swims in the end,” Mader said. “So much of swimming is mental.

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“Addie has a little more pressure to make it (on the podium) with Bridget. But she’s definitely in a good place. Addie has the potential to pull out some crazy swims.”

And, perhaps for the Engels, genetic. Older sister Ragen was a state qualifier and now swimming for the University of Akron. And if you didn’t know which twin sister was which during a race their technique won’t give it away.

“I want to say it’s natural because when they’re swimming next to each other, they swim this stroke almost identical,” Mader said. “They’re stroke for stroke and turn for turn.”

The D-II prelims were Thursday with the finals on Friday. The D-I preliminaries are Friday and the finals are Saturday.

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Bridget finished seventh at state in the 100 breaststroke in 2017 and fifth in 2018. Addie finished eighth in 2018.

“They are so dedicated to practice and to every race. Every race is like a championship race to them,” Mader said. “They like to see each other succeed, but they both want to succeed.”

Also qualifying for the state swimming championships:

• Springfield sophomore Reese Turner is the area’s lone D-I representative. Turner qualified in the 50 free and is seeded No. 11.

• Shawnee senior Olivia Leslie qualified No. 17 in the 100 backstroke.

• Kenton Ridge sophomore Sydney Jones qualified in the 50 free as the No. 20 seed.

• Greenon junior Calvin Wise qualified in two events. He’s seeded No. 7 in the 200 individual medley and No. 15 in the 100 fly.

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