Chan Sisters Swim At Junior Championships
MADISON- Sisters Samantha and Abby Chan recently helped the Bob Jones girls swim team win its second consecutive Class 6-7A State Championship by taking four gold medals collectively. The effort by the Lady Patriots gave them a 50-point team scoring victory over runner-up Auburn. But, the season-ending high school meet was not the conclusion of the endeavors for the daughters of Edwin and Emily Chan.
Both Samantha and Abby traveled the nearly 500-mile jaunt north on Interstates 65 and 71 to Columbus, Ohio for the Speedo Winter Junior Championships. The four-day event was held at McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion, home water for the Buckeyes of Ohio State.
“It was a good learning experience and a good check point in the season to know what I need to work on,” said Samantha, a senior and who signed a scholarship to swim for Georgia Tech.
Abby added about her experience among the elite swimmers in the country, “I believe I did very well as I dropped times in most of the events I swam in.”
The 5-foot-3-and a half Samantha carries a 5.3 grade point average, which is third in the graduating class of 2024 at Bob Jones, competed in seven races and had four personal best (PR) times. She posted her PRs in the 50 freestyle (23.26), 100 freestyle (51.46), 100 butterfly (53.60) and 200 freestyle (1:50.30). She also posted times in the 100 backstroke (54.92), 200 butterfly (1:59.77) and 100 butterfly-long course (1:02.14).
For Abby, a freshman at Bob Jones who stands upon the starting block at 5-foot-5, she, too, had four PR performances out of the six races she competed in. Her personal best came in the 50 freestyle (23.55), 100 butterfly (54.44), 100 freestyle (51.90) and 200 freestyle (1:55.90). She also posted a 55.31 in the 100 backstroke and 1:04.16 in the 100 butterfly long course.
Samantha just completed her sixth season with Bob Jones, but also partakes within the Huntsville Swim Association club team in her third season. Her best stroke is the butterfly. “I have had a lot of help from my coaches and parents as I just feel my butterfly is better than the other strokes.”
Abby first hit the pools five years ago as her mother thought it would be a good idea since her older sister was busy within the sport. Abby loves the sport as she meets new friends and actually likes the competing in races. “My best stroke is the butterfly and in the 100 butterfly I went into the nationals seeded No. 77 and I was shocked I made the finals,” added Abby of her 23rd place finish in the 100 butterfly.
Samantha had a 15th place finish among 24 finalists in the 200 butterfly as 63 participants began the event. In the 100 butterfly, she won one of the heats with her sister in the very next lane. “It was cool to have her in the next lane and as I finished the TV cameras zoomed in on me while Abby was in the background of the video,” added Samantha. “I was happy with most of my performances, though I was seeded fourth in the 200 butterfly and that fact made me nervous and put a lot of pressure on me especially since I medaled by finishing sixth last year.”
The Chan sisters will be featured in an in-depth article in the February 2024 issue of the Madison Living Magazine.