Coming off a sixth place finish at the CAAC Blue meet on Nov. 3, the Holt girls swimming team will build on some of their best swimming of the year as they head towards next season.
“I think the way we came together at the end and the way we swam at the conference meet was phenomenal,” Holt coach Marty Pohl said. “90 percent of our swims were lifetime best times and that was unheard of. Most teams average around 65-70 percent and I thought our girls swam fantastic.”
Pohl’s excitement can extend into next season, as the Rams were a young team overall in 2012 and were able to compete with some of the better girls swimming programs in Mid-Michigan.
Another big addition to the team next year will make the Rams even younger, but more competitive as well.
“We had 11 freshmen that swam this year that replaced four seniors that we lost and I’m going to get another big freshman class coming in, so I’m really, really optimistic at the prospects of the team and how well we can do next year,” Pohl said.
Another swimmer who will be returning is junior Abby Cleary, who took fifth at the CAAC Blue meet in the 100-meter freestyle with a time of 56.79 seconds.
It was a struggle for most of the season for Cleary, but the trials and tribulations had nothing to do with her times in the pool, but rather being able to be in the pool to make times.
Injuries and illnesses prevented Cleary from working as hard as she is as accustomed to working. Taking time off to get healthy impacted her ability to swim at a top level.
“Things like that kept her from how she normally trains and she is a really hard trainer,” Pohl said. “If we can keep her healthy and safe and everything, I do expect a big year from her next year.”
Pohl expected Cleary to perform well this year and had high goals for the junior, but the injuries and illnesses never allowed her to get on a training path to accomplish a state qualifying time.
Now Cleary will return with a clean slate and be in a leadership role for the 2013 Holt girls swimming and diving team.
“She would have been a state qualifier. She had some issues with health that kind of kept her out of training for a while and it was late for her to get back in and get back into the swing of things, but I expect real big things out of her next year,” Pohl said.
Erin Vargo and Abby Mealy both participated in a Division 1 diving regional at East Kentwood on Nov. 13, but neither was able to advance on to the state finals.