Girls swimming looks to repeat success at state

By Eddie Rodriguez | Distribution Manager

Opening their season with their first home meet tomorrow, the Pirate girls swim team hopes to capitalize on their depth and last years’ experience.

The team looks toward a repeat of last years’ success, where they were undefeated and ultimately claimed the Midwestern League district title.

“I would like for the team to be district champions again and to strive to get the co-ed title,” senior captain Kirby Neale said.

The chance of achieving their goals is promising, as the team lost only one varsity athlete to graduation. Strong individuals returning this season include a core group of sophomores: Shaylyn Brownell, Bridget McCarthy and Elyse Trendell.

All three look to boost the program this season. Last season they competed in the 400-free relay with junior Hannah Olson and placed first in district and fifth in state. The athletes believe they can make good improvements on their relays. The current school record for the 400- free relay is 3:46.38, and this year’s team is close to matching that time.

“I would really like our relays to improve because we are really close to our school record on 400-free relay,” Brownell said.

Brownell, Olson and Trendell will also compete in the 200-medley relay team along with Neale. Last season, the relay qualified for state and finished sixth. Neale believes they have the capacity to achieve their goals.

“Our relays this year have a good chance to go to state again, especially if we are working hard in practice,” Neale said.

Another strength of the team is the sheer number of girls competing, with 20 girls on the roster. According to Brownell, a large team provides depth.

“Our main benefit is we have a lot of girls that are decent, whereas other teams just have a few girls,” Brownell said.

According to Neale, success at the state level is realistic because of the skill and depth of the team.

“We have enough experience throughout the girls’ side to win district and advance multiple athletes to state,” Neale said.

Junior Brittany Banks’ experience has helped advance the team as well. She has been an alternate for the state meet for the past two years, along with the other senior captain, Kayla Bauer, for the 200-medley relay. Banks said she has clear expectations for herself and her teammates:

“To have more girls advance to state and win district again.”