Swimmer Isabella Grinter

EDWARDSVILLE - Long-time swimmer Isabella "Izzy" Grinter, one of three triplet sisters along with Autumn and Savannah, got off to a tremendous start of her final summer season with Montclaire Swim Club in the Marlins' opening Southwestern Illinois Swimming Association meet against Summers Port Swim Club of Godfrey June 9 at Montclaire, winning one race and generally swimming well. Isabella is also the younger sister of the famed Edwardsville superstar swimmer Bailey Grinter and another Montclaire swimmer, her brother, Evan.

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"So far, I did well," Grinter said during an interview held during the meet itself. "I won the 100 (yard freestyle), which is very surprising, because I haven't really been swimming, but I joined a club at college and I haven't had a meet since February. But it's been going well so far. We also did well in a relay, which I'm glad we won. We are off to a good start."

Grinter also has noticed some differences between the summer season and her college season, even going back to when she competed for Edwardsville High School.

"It's very more laid back," Grinter said. "I like the summer because you're with little kids, so that makes it fun. And I like getting to know younger swimmers. so I'm like later in life, I can see them get better and faster. So it's more fun for me, unlike high school and college, it's more stressful."

Grinter agreed that it's very important to help set a positive example for the younger swimmers and show them how to get ready for meets and how to do things the right way.

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"Yeah," Grinter said. "I try to, like, cheer them on, because I remember when I was a youngster, I always wanted people to cheer me on, to, like, have the older kids know that you're on the team is always very cool. So I like to cheer them on and tell them good luck and stuff. It makes them feel good and try to get them to keep swimming and stuff."

As far as a specific race or two Grinter hopes to specialize in this summer, she's looking to be a team player.

"Anything," Grinter said. "I kind of don't mind when I'm swimming, because it's my last year, so whatever they need to put me in, I'm OK with swimming. Except for the (200-yard freestyle). I don't know if I can swim that long," she said with a laugh. "But anything they need to put me in, I'm OK with swimming, because I'm doing it for the team."

Grinter doesn't have any individual goals or accomplishments in mind for the summer season, but is more focused on Marlins' team goals.

"Nothing like individually, really," Grinter said, "but I'm hoping we win SWISA again. And I'm hoping to cheer everyone on and hopefully, they all get better this season."

The summer season is a fun time for all, and as Grinter knows that this will be her final year swimming for the Marlins, she's also thinking she's going to finish her competitive swimming career this summer as well.

"Yeah," Grinter said. "And I think this is going to be, really, my last year of swimming, officially. My last year swimming in Edwardsville with a team. I hope the team does good, our relays did great tonight and it's going to be a fun first meet of the season."

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