The COVID-19 pandemic may be keeping members of the Hudson Explorers Aquatics Team out of the pool, but HEAT swimmers continue to pile up awards.

In this case, that recognition is coming on a national level. Alex Gallagher, Andrew Ketler and Alex Cimera were selected by USA Swimming to attend the Central Zone Select camp.

It’s an honor few experience. Just 216 boys and girls across the nation are chosen each year. The selections were on their performances in the pool.

Cimera, 15, was recognized for his ranking in the 50-meter freestyle. Ketler, 15, was selected because of his 200 butterfly ranking. Gallagher, 14, was chosen for his all-around performances in five individual events.

Locally, the three HEAT members were among just seven swimmers across Northeast Ohio selected to attend the Central Zone camp, which encompasses athletes from 14 states across the Great Lakes and Midwest regions. HEAT had more boys chosen for the camp than any other team in the Zone.

"I am really proud of these boys for being selected as some of the top swimmers in all of the Midwest," HEAT head coach Matt Davis said. "This is the first big step for swimmers of their age to really get on the national scene. It’s a great opportunity for the boys, as they will learn what it will take to get on to the National level and beyond."

This year’s Central Zone Select Camp was scheduled to take place May 21-24 at the University of Cincinnati. However, due to the coronavirus outbreak, it was moved to a virtual format, with participants attending sessions remotely.