On Sunday, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett celebrated the renaming of the Montgomery County Department of Recreation Western County Outdoor Pool to the Sarah E. Auer Western County Pool.
The pool located at 20151 Fisher Avenue in Poolesville was renamed to honor the dedication and hard work of Sarah E. Auer who served as a swim coach for the Poolesville Piranhas Swim Team and the Rockville-Montgomery Swim Club.
Leggett was joined by Sarah’s parents, Charles and Doris Auer, two siblings Timothy and Gretchen, other family members and friends, Poolesville Town Commissioner President James Brown and Montgomery County Department of Recreation Director Gabe Albornoz.
“Naming the Western County Pool after Sarah is the right thing to do,” said Leggett. “Sarah served Poolesville community in many positive ways and her dedication and hard work inspired the young people she worked with to strive to achieve their personal best.”
Sarah was an accomplished swimmer who especially loved coaching. At age 17, she became the head coach for over 200 swimmers who competed for the Poolesville Piranhas. It was Sarah’s passion for coaching which led her to serve as a coach for the Rockville-Montgomery Swim Club. In December 2002, Sarah was killed in an automobile accident on her way to her RMSC coaching job. She was 21 years old.
"For most people this pool is just a large concrete structure to cool off in the hot days of summer,” said Timothy Auer, Sarah’s brother. “For Sarah, it was a training ground, a home away from home, a battleground on meet days, a nurturing school for the young swimmers. Sarah loved and believed in her swimmers and they loved and believed in her. The pool might have changed its appearance over in the last few years but it will always have Sarah's soul here, and now it will also have her name."
“It is wonderful to rename the Western County Outdoor Pool to honor Sarah,” said Albornoz. “Sarah was a beloved coach whose commitment made a positive difference in the lives of many children. Our coaches and mentors are one of the Department of Recreation’s most important resources.”
Prior to the renaming ceremony, the Sarah E. Auer Mini-Swim Meet was held at the pool to raise funds for the Sarah E. Auer Memorial Scholarship. This annual event has awarded over 100 scholarships to graduating seniors from Poolesville High School, the Montgomery Swim League and the Poolesville Piranhas Swim Team.
Photo courtesy Montgomery County Council