Girls Swimmer of the Year

North Montgomery’s leader and standout senior sprinter

Chargers Annabel Anderson saves best season for last, earns JR Girls Swimmer of the Year


LINDEN ­­­— North Montgomery girls swimming had a sensational season this winter. It was one that the Chargers will remember for quite sometime as the team captured their first Sagamore Conference title since 1993 and overall went 14-0 in dual meets along with capturing the Athenian Invite title. This Charger team was deep and talented across the board but they did have a person at the top leading them. Insert senior Annabel Anderson. Anderson was the one who was tasked with being the leader for this Charger team that just features her and one other senior.

Anderson lived up to the task and not only led the Chargers to their most successful season in recent memory, but showed why so much is asked of her as she performed when the lights were the brightest. At the sectional, she was the sectional champion in both the 50 and 100 freestyle as the senior punched her ticket to her fourth straight IHSAA State Finals. Yes, Anderson qualified for the state finals in all four of her years with the Chargers. Her junior year, Anderson was the champion in the 100 freestyle, sophomore year was part of the 200 freestyle relay team that went to state, and freshman year was a member of the Chargers 400 free relay that made state.

“This season and my career here at North is something I’ll never forget,” Anderson said of her time with the Charger swim program. “It’s really hard to put everything into words. I didn’t come in expecting all of these great things to happen and now that they have. This experience is something I can look back on and use the rest of my life.”

With Anderson leading the charge and getting to cap off her career in style, she’s earned the title of the 2023-24 Journal Review Girls Swimmer of the Year.

Anderson is an elite group of girl swimmers to come through the Charger program. Coach Erin Yeager can only remember a handful of girls that went 4-4 in qualifying for the state finals. Despite making the trip to the IUPUI Natatorium each year, Anderson noted how each experience was a little different. That 200 free relay in her sophomore year bested WeBo by .09 seconds for the title.

“My freshman and sophomore years were tough, but sophomore year in particular because we had to push and give everything we had to give ourselves a chance to win,” Anderson said. “Then my junior year I really didn’t expect to go in the 100 but I knew it was a possibility. Then my senior with having done it the past three years, it was the expectation to get back there.”

Yeager has seen her senior sprinter blossom into the swimmer she is today and it’s not just at the high school level where both Yeager and Anderson have a connection. While she was coming up through the ranks in junior high, Yeager was there every step of the way.

“The thing I’ve enjoyed most about coaching her as long I have is really the past two years watching her come out of her shell in having her voice heard,” Yeager said. “She’s encouraging others and this year took on a big leadership role because we needed her to. Along with that come that she was pushing our girls to get better and in turn pushed her self as well. You could see that she had goals she wanted to complete from the beginning and she was going to not stop until she accomplished them.”

Not only did Anderson get to achieve personal success, but this Charger team, as stated in the beginning, got to relish in it. Along with Anderson junior Brooklyn Kearns, sophomores Dusty Robinson, Kylie Sankey and Annabelle Verduin and others all saw success. A season ago this team showed flashes of what they could become and now they put it all together.

“These past two years with these girls have been my favorite teams to be apart of,” Anderson said. “We all accomplished so much these last two years. We’ve wanted to accomplish these things for a long time and now that we’ve done it, it feels so rewarding.”

What makes the sport of swimming a little extra special is that the winning coach of the event is the one to hand out ribbons for big meets. Yeager and Anderson have enjoyed a lot of those moments the last few seasons. When Yeager was asked about what she’d like people to remember Anderson for, she gave a perfect response.

“We all know that Annabel is a strong swimmer and sprinter for us,” Yeager said. “But what people probably don’t know is she is just an-all around great swimmer and is so versatile with being able to swim in many different events. She’s got one of th top times for us in a few other events too. She’s able and willing to fill whatever role I need from her and that’s what you want in someone like Annabel. She’s always been a team player and I want to see her remembered from that aspect as well as what she did in the pool.”

Anderson isn’t done with her swimming career as she’s choosing to swim at the next level. It’s a career that Charger fans and most definitely Yeager and Anderson’s teammates won’t soon forget.