Members of the Robinson family are no strangers to the pool. With all five of the Robinson children active in competitive swimming, the family has seen varying levels of success over the years. Now two of the younger members of the quintet of aquatic athletes are making a splash.
Aiken-Augusta Swim League swimmers Audrey and Michael have both qualified for the Southern Zone Age Group Swimming Championships being held in Greenville from Tuesday through Saturday.
The two qualified by finishing in the top eight of their respective age brackets at the Georgia Age Group Swimming Championships last weekend in Savannah.
Michael earned a first place in the 400m freestyle and also picked up two second place finishes, including the 200m backstroke in which he's ranked 15th in the nation in for his age group. Audrey also got a pair of second place finishes at the state meet in the 50m and 100m freestyle.
Each said the hard work and hours of practice time are what they like about competitive swimming.
“It's fast-paced, there aren't breaks and it's just harder than all the other sports, and I like working hard,” Michael said.
Audrey also finds some of the same pleasures in competing, however, she has other reasons which contribute to her love of swimming for ASL.
“I like competing, but I also like the relationship with my teammates and how we push each other,” Audrey said. “Plus, being able to train for your goals is real exciting.”
Audrey has aspirations to continue swimming for quite some time. She said she “would love” to swim in college, similar to the path her older sister Jessica took. Jessica, the oldest of the Robinson kids, is currently attends Gardner-Webb where she is set to enter her junior year as a member of the swim team.
For Audrey it is her third time making it to the Zone Age Group Championships. The next step for her will be joining the senior ranks.
At 14-year-old Audrey already practices with the senior group and qualified for the senior meet as well but chose to compete in her final age group event before moving up to the next level.
As for Michael, his eyes are set on some more immediate goals. In his first appearance at the Zone Age Group Championships he is hoping for success.
“I want to try to win at (the upcoming meet) in the 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle”
While Audrey looks up to the eldest Robinson, Michael said Audrey is big inspiration to him and that she has really shown him about perseverance and has encouraged him as well as helped him with his various strokes.
Their mother Anne said its been good to see them achieve success after putting in so much work over the year.
The tandem spends 15-20 hours a week practicing, Audrey practices in Augusta while Michael works out at the USC Aiken Natatorium.
“Making it to the Zone Championship was their goal all year,” Anne said. It's good to see their hard work pay off and reach the success they set out to have in the start.”
Audrey and Michael will depart for the meet on Monday morning.
In terms of the Robinson swimming legacy, it will continue as 10-year-old Emily has started competing with the ASL.
Eric Russell covers sports for the Aiken Standard. He graduated from USC Aiken in 2012 with a degree in communications.