It’s hard for Lexie Shelton to accurately describe the last 12 months.
From helping Bishop Carroll win its first state championship in swim and dive to seeing her senior season cut before it began, the emotions have run both high and low. Four months removed from the cancellation of spring sports, the now former Golden Eagle swimmer has found perspective amidst the chaos.
“It took a minute [to digest],” Shelton said. “… But we did so good last year and being able to win state. My very last race at Bishop Carroll was the [400-yard freestyle relay, finished first] and that’s what got us a title. I ended on a good note and I didn’t know it would be my last race, but it was the best case scenario on how to go out.”
It certainly helps as well that Shelton is about to embark on a collegiate swim career with University of Arkansas-Little Rock. After winning 10 state medals and a team title at Bishop Carroll, the local resident will bring a decorated résumé to the Missouri Valley Conference program.
One look up and down the swim and dive roster as well and Shelton saw Sunflower State roots throughout the program. She’ll be one of six swimmers from Kansas on the team.
“It felt like home and the coaches and girls felt like a team,” she said. “The nursing program played a huge part in it too. I pictured myself going to school there and I couldn’t see myself at any of the other schools I was talking to.”
While Shelton did graduate from Bishop Carroll, her roots inside the 67037 lines are quite strong. Both her mother and father, Tracie and Brad, are Derby graduates. They also reside within close proximity of Derby city lines as Brad owns and operates Shelton Automotive and Collision Repair. She also attended St. Mary Parish Catholic School before attending Bishop Carroll.
As a near lifelong club swimmer, Shelton has also forged a bond with Derby graduate and current Missouri swimmer Megan Keil.
Shelton began to leave her imprint on Bishop Carroll swim and dive as a freshman and never looked back. She swam in the finals of the 500-yard freestyle and 100-yard breaststroke as a freshman and medaled in both.
The former Golden Eagle won her first individual state championship as a sophomore in the 500-yard freestyle. She medaled in the race and the 100-yard breaststroke in all three trips to the Capitol Federal Natatorium in Topeka.
Winning state in 2019 brought added luster for Shelton, not only because of claiming a title collectively, but bringing a school as storied as Bishop Carroll its first championship in a sport.
“It was honestly amazing,” Shelton said. “… Just to be able to add our sport to the lists [of Bishop Carroll state winners] and to have our names up there for the first time was awesome.”