Senior swimmer

by Katrina B. Rusaw, Fulton

I would like to make a correction to the recent article written in The Valley News in regards to the Fulton senior swimmers.

Coach Raina Hinman is quoted throughout the article and gives much praise and accolades to the three senior swimmers, Janelle Tallents, Courtney Beckwith and Steven Hanczyk.

I agree with her on that, they are all wonderful young ladies and gentleman and I have known their families for many years through the swimming programs in Fulton. They are great kids and come from wonderful families.

My issue is there are four senior swimmers on the varsity team in 2013 — not three.

My daughter Lacey Rusaw has been on the varsity swim team for all four years of her high school career. While she may not have been the fastest or the best swimmer on the team, she always tried her hardest and isn’t that all we ask of our children?

Imagine the hurt Lacey felt when there was not one word mentioned about her or her contributions to team in the article.

Did she not deserve the same respect and recognition as the other senior team members?

For many years in the Fulton City School District, who gets the best position on the team or who gets the lead in a play is based on what the person’s last name is or what position their parent hold’s in the community.

We stress to our children that we have a zero tolerance for bullying but isn’t this bullying by exclusion?

I would hope that in the future coaches will take this as a learning lesson that all team members are important and deserve to be recognized and treated equally.

I did speak with Coach Hinman after she called me about a post I put on Facebook that she took issue with. She claimed to have no knowledge of the article in the paper but did agree with me that all articles pertaining to swimming are approved by her before they are printed.

In the article, Coach Hinman is quoted as stating “Each athlete matters, just as much as each point does”. Her exclusion of Lacey shows otherwise.

Lacey is a high honor roll student and a scholar athlete. She is looking forward to a promising career in marine biology and I am very proud to be her mother.

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