Swimmers look for strong starts

Swimmers look for strong starts

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Swimmers look for strong starts

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Area high school swimming teams at both Hagerstown and Centerville are well under way for the 2012-13 season, and both schools’ teams have high hopes for the new season.

For Centerville, Tyler McKee and Doug Staats are back as co-coaches of high school swimming, with Brad Whited serving as the team’s diving coach.

The number of Centerville athletes in the sport is slightly higher this season, up to 28, 16 girls and 12 boys.

Both the Bulldog boys and girls teams have five seniors each, with senior boys captains Alex Hill, James Remley, Brett Stoughton and Matthew Stoughton, plus classmate Connor Coleman.

For the girls, there are co-captains Terri Holcomb and Kasey Holcomb, along with classmates Janelle Parker, Sierra Lesh and Michelle Tello.

“The seniors are a strong group, all having past swimming experience, except for two newcomers,” McKee said. “I plan on them leading the team to many victories, and are on pace to take down some long-standing school records.”

On the boys side, Brett Stoughton will compete in the individual medley and stroke events. He qualified for state last year in the 200 IM with a sectional-record time.

Also, Matthew Stoughton should be strong in the sprint events and junior Matt Glover in the sprint and stroke events.

“We have swimmers in every event that will be competing for race wins,” McKee added.

For the Bulldog girls, Terri Holcomb is a swimmer to watch in the fly and stroke events, as is Kasey Holcomb in distance. Junior Ashley Foster should be a factor in the sprint events.

“This will be an exciting season,” said co-coach Staats. “With new swimmers, upcoming freshmen, and solid senior leadership, we (the team) will have a successful year.”

Highlight meets on the schedule include a Dec. 6 date with Connersville, Jan. 2 versus Richmond and Jan. 22 with New Castle. The Centerville Invitational is Jan. 26.

“I am excited about the talent that this group of swimmers and divers have,” Whited said.

The Centerville girls team already has dominated Milan in a win earlier this week.

When Hagerstown’s girls swimmers host Milan on Monday night, it will be the start of another year at the helm of Tiger swimming for coaches Hannah Sharp and Amanda Stout.

“This year we have a lot of returning swimmers,” Sharp said a few days ago. “We’re excited for the leadership roles they’re about to fulfill for the team.”

There are 23 swimmers on the roster, including 17 girls.

It is a young Tiger girls team, with lone senior Sarah Baumer, and the junior trio of Kelsey Davis, Cheyenne Walker and Peyton Young. There are six sophomores and seven freshmen with the program.

“Our goals this year are to continue our positive attitude and hard work toward having better times, technique and teamwork,” coach Sharp said.

For the Hagerstown boys, there are seniors Gabe Shepherd and Chris Stevens, plus junior Eli Reagan.

“Already, we’ve seen our veteran swimmers take care of and teach things to our newcomers,” Sharp said.

The first Hagerstown boys pool action will be a co-ed home meet with Mount Vernon on Dec. 5.

“With this kind of attitude and drive, we can only expect our student-athletes to get better and better every meet,” coach Sharp concluded.

The Tigers host Centerville on Jan. 15.

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