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Swimming into History: Otsego's Abby Gase to swim in meet she helped create

As a sophomore, Abby Gase petitioned the OHSAA to add adaptive swimming to the state meet. Now the senior will swim in that event on Wednesday.

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Just a couple of years ago, Otsego swimmer Abby Gase petitioned the Ohio High School Athletic Association to add adaptive swimming to their state meet. Fast forward to her senior year and Abby will swim in the meet she fought so hard for.

We first introduced you to Abby Gase in 2019. Her story of perseverance was incredible then and it’s even more impressive now. She has transverse myelitis. Lesions on her spinal cord from an illness she had at four years old.

As a sophomore, she approached the OHSAA about putting adaptive swimming into the state meet. On Wednesday, the senior will get to swim in that meet.

“I know it’s been a long process and everyone that has helped me has built up to this moment,” said Gase. “It’s here to stay. It’s going to be here for years to come. Hopefully everyone else younger than me is as excited as I am to be able to swim with their peers.”

When she started her push to get this added to state swimming, she didn't know if it would be in place before she graduated or not. It's perfect timing and a perfect way to end her high school career.

“I’m just really excited I get the opportunity to get to swim at state. I knew it could be a long process and we didn’t really know when or if it would happen. I’m just excited my senior year I do get to swim at state and not have to watch when I am out of school.”

Abby will swim in two events: the 50 free and 100 backstroke. No matter what the result, she has not only paved the way for herself but many others after her.

“It’s just getting the opportunity to be there, be with the best swimmers in the state,” said Gase. “It’s not about the medals and the winning. It’s about being there and showing we can compete and be as competitive as everyone else.”