Athlete profile: Merriman swimming toward Dexter record book

Lizzy Merriman has enjoyed incredible success as a member of the Dexter swimming and diving team. As she continues to fine tune her stroke during her senior season, Merriman is swimming toward one of the most impressive careers in the impressive history of Dexter swimming.

But she also is well aware of the impact swimming has had on her life outside of the water.

“Swimming has dictated my life in so many positive ways,” said the 17-year-old daughter of Mike and Kendra Merriman.

For example?

“Swimming has taught that with dedication and hard work you could go anywhere in life,” she said. “The bonds that I have built up with these girls on my team will never be broken all because of swimming. As for this applying to the rest of my life, you can create an unbelievable bond with people if you swim with them at 5 in the morning. Swimming has always been and will always be a huge part of my life and as for now, I have no idea where I would be without it.”

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Where she is now is on the brink of something special.

She splashed onto the scene as a freshman, placing 16th in the state in the breaststroke and earned team Freshman of the Year. She earned team MVP as a sophomore.

Last year as a junior, Merriman was fourth in the state in the breaststroke and was recognized as an All-American. She also was team Junior of the Year.

And this year she has set the bar high.

“One of my major goals is to break the varsity record in the 100 breaststroke,” she said. “Another goal of mine is to trophy at states.”

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She says Dexter swimming is more of a family than a team and that’s part of the reason why the program has been so successful over the years.

“What’s made this program so successful is the amount of effort that not only the coaches and parents put into the program but the amount of effort that all of the swimmers put into this program,” she said.

Merriman thanks her father for getting her to jump into the pool.

“My dad used to swim and play water polo and he believed that swimming is a very good life skill that everyone should learn,” she said. “I fell in love with the sport because all I wanted to do was be in the water all the time.”

She will continue her swimming career next year at the University of Kentucky.

“Kentucky is the perfect fit for me,” she said. “The coaches, the team, and the family that I will be joining is a lot like what I am a part of right now.”

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