The Rockford Marlins welcomed club swim teams to Jefferson High School on the first Saturday of May for the inaugural Lisa Coole Memorial Classic.
Lisa was a 1993 Guilford graduate and the #1 ranked 100-yard butterfly swimmer in the nation. The NIC-9 female athlete of the year was an NCAA champion at the University of Georgia, and a UGA Circle of Honor inductee. She died in a car accident in 1998 at the age of 23.
Lisa's family joined the Marlins to celebrate her memory, awarding the meet's 100-yard butterfly event winners, Lisa's signature event. It was an emotional and special day for the Coole family.
"She started as a seven and under swimmer and swam all over the Midwest. There is no better fitting tribute than her home club, the Rockford Marlins, honoring her with a meet like this," said Michelle Coole, Lisa's sister.
"Marlins made a big impact on her life. It's where swimming began for Lisa. The fact they wanted to remember and honor her and all of her accomplishments, even after it's been 19 years since her death, we were speechless," Michelle said.
"We're so grateful to the swimming community for putting this together."