POOLESVILLE, MD (WUSA9) - Sarah Auer is someone people in Poolesville can’t forget—even 15 years after her death.
She was a swimmer, mentor, and a swim coach. She made a mark on her community- before she was old enough to vote.
There is an annual swim meet and scholarship in her name. Now the pool itself.
Her brother, Timothy Auer spoke today at the dedication ceremony today.
“For Sarah, this pool was a home away from home, a battleground on meet days, a nurturing school for the youngest swimmers,” said Auer.
“It will always have Sarah’s soul here; now it will have her name as well,” said Auer.
Auer’s father, Charles Auer said it was a terrible shock when Sarah died in an accident in December 2002. She was driving to a swim practice at the time.
“She worked as a coach, she was still in college, and she was hit by a dump truck, and she died at the scene. It tore our hearts when that happened. It tore our hearts.”
Sarah Auer helped build the Poolesville Piranhas Swim Club, while still a teenager.
She was the assistant coach the national Training group, an elite team of nationally ranked swimmers when she wasn’t much older than her students.
One of Sarah’s swim students, Elizabeth Pepper, said she was an inspiring person who made each of her students feel important. Pepper who was nine when Sarah died. She went on to win a full swim scholarship through college and credits Auer with getting her started in the sport.
“We were going to practice one day and the whole road was shut down, and were like, wow that must have been a really bad accident, and then we came home and my mom came in and said, do you remember that accident we passed, and I just remember in my head like, oh my god I hope it’s not Sarah. And like- obviously it’s really hard,” said Auer. “I was just so devastated, and my mom was so devastated, and I just remember sitting in my room and sobbing.”
James Brown, President of Poolesville’s Town Commissioners said Auer’s death was a loss to the community.
“I think that we would have had a leader that would have gone on to do great things for our town, not just all the things that she did, but all the things that she could have done. Would have done.”
For Charles Auer, today's dedication of the pool in Sarah E. Auer's name is bittersweet: a reminder of what Sarah might have gone on to do. And what she did do, in such a short amount of time.
“We stand in awe of Sarah, and her accomplishments that she could so profoundly impact people through a mere 21 years of life,” said Charles Auer
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