The Schranck brothers’ little sister is all grown up. And she’s making waves of her own, thank you.
Ginny Schranck has always been the little sister. She’s the youngest of Chuck and Julie Schranck’s nine children.
And the only girl.
Eight older brothers to clear a path for her, to have her back and to make sure she encountered as little grief from the other kids as possible. Not that Ginny couldn’t hold her own.
I remember the first time I met her. She was about 5 or 6 and shy around strangers, hiding behind her mom. No more, though. She’s grown into another swimming Schranck.
Three of her older brothers – Stephen, Doug and Andy – were successful swimmers who went on to swim in college. Stephen and Doug swam at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin and Andy swam at Missouri S&T in Rolla.
And after signing a letter of intent with Truman State University, Ginny makes four.
At first, she was the little sister, then she became the little sister who also swam.
“It was always something I just wanted to do,” she said. “I think I was always inspired by my brothers. And with eight brothers, I always had bodyguards.”
Ginny’s dad, Dr. Chuck Schranck, is a radiologist in Alton. Her mother, Julie, has, well, just imagine how busy her life’s been juggling being a mom, a chauffeur, cheerleader and head cook and bottle washer with nine kids, the first eight being boys.
My parents have always been there,” Ginny said. “Very supportive and they always have wanted to make sure I was having fun and not doing something just for them or because my brothers did it.”
For the record, the Schranck entourage began in 1982 with the birth of Charles Schranck III, aka Chas.
Then came, in order: Barry, James, Stephen, twins Andy and Doug, Phillip, Nick … and finally, Ginny.
Marquette Catholic has been the high school of choice for the Schranck kids. Chas graduated in 2000 and Ginny will do so this spring. Chuck and Julie have had at least one child at the school every year since 1995.
Ginny played plenty of sports as a youngster, but said she always kind of new swimming would be it for her.
“I think I always wanted to do it,” she said. “Having three older brothers who were so good at it probably affected me. But nobody ‘made’ me do it.”
Ginny’s commitment to swimming is considerable. She trains daily with the Breakers at the Chuck Fruit Aquatic Center and does dry-land training three days a week with a trainer lifting weights and going through an intense fitness regimen.
After starting out as a wee one in the pool as a Summers-Port Shark in the SWISA outdoor summer league, Ginny moved on to the Tri-City Area YMCA Tidalwaves as a year-round club swimmer. And last fall, she moved over to the rival Breakers.
“It wasn’t anything personal,” she said. “I just needed a change. It’s been good.”
Tidalwaves coach Nancy Miller was quick to praise Schranck.
“Ginny is a fantastic young woman, loaded with talent” Miller said. “She has a strong work ethic. She is tenacious and goal-driven. the younger swimmers look up to her and admire her.”
Longtime Breakers coach Bob Rettle agreed with that assessment.
“Ginny is as hard-working a swimmer as I’ve seen,” Rettle said. “She definitely has what it takes to be a successful swimmer in college.”
She said she has goals. Generally, to have no regrets about missing out on a chance to get better. Specifically and more immediate, she wants to “place high at the Y Nats in the 200 breaststroke and make a final.”
She was 63rd in the breaststroke at last year’s YMCA Nationals and wants to improve that standing.
Of course, Ginny has grown up with other “coaches,” namely her swimming brothers, Stephen, Andy and Doug.
“I’m close to all my brothers, each for different reasons,” she said. “But with Stephen, Andy and Doug, I had three coaches at home. But they have mainly been encouraging instead of trying to, say, correct my strokes or anything.”
When it came time to select a college, Ginny leaned a little more heavily on brother Doug, who’s an assistant swim coach at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri.
“He knows a lot of people in college swimming,” she said,”and he helped me through it.”
So did the subject of her going to brother Doug’s Drury U. team come up?
“Well, not really,” she said. “That would be weird.”