There’s excitement brewing in the water at McAuley. The Mohawks have to replace five seniors who graduated, which includes Amanda Deller, an individual state qualifier last season.
But, the Mohawks have a rare, yet coveted, roster filled with steady experience and optimistic newcomers.
“This is probably the most excited I’ve been for a season in a long time,” said sixth-year coach Eric Stock. “As far as time, they’re way ahead (of last year). The most exciting thing is anyone on the team can be on the relays … we’re a complete team; we’re starting to become a program where we have consistency each year.”
McAuley returns six swimmers who competed at last season’s district meet. Returning from districts are seniors Erika Lucas and Lia Hergenrother; juniors Claire Roell and Emma Barbee; sophomores Anh Nguyen and Allison Koenig.
Stock said Nguyen has really improved in the breaststroke. Roell was an individual district qualifier in the 500 freestyle last season, and Stock said she’s a great distance swimmer. Lucas is a butterfly expert, while Hergenrother is more of a freestyle sprinter.
There isn’t a traditional leader for the Mohawks this season, but seniors Lucas, Hergenrother, Noelle Rotte and Kelsey Mooney have all done their share helping a young team with 12 freshman.
“McAuley, for the past 10 years, has had a state qualifier coming back,” Stock said. “We have a wide variety of depth this year; we have four seniors who’ve done an excellent job making sure everyone is motivated.”
The Mohawks will attempt to repeat as champions of the Best of the West swim meet Dec. 10 at Gamble Nippert YMCA.
The opportunity is there this season for Finneytown’s girls swim team. It’s a special group for coach Bill Profitt because, in the case of the seniors, they’ve been swimming for four years and steadily improving their times.
The Wildcats will be led by four seniors, three of whom are triplets. Senior sisters Julia, Katherine and Sara Germann are experienced multi-sport athletes who provide depth and leadership. Senior Elizabeth Snyder is right there with the Germann’s in terms of leadership.
Finneytown sophomores Katie Bishop and Vashti Yisrael bring youth and speed to the lineup.
It will be hard for Profitt to say goodbye to his four-year competitors, but before he does, hopefully they can make some magic happen in the water with a season to remember.
Now in his fourth season coaching the girls swim team at Roger Bacon, coach Ben Stone likes how the girls have approached this season. Stone pointed to the hard work he’s already witnessed before the grueling stretch of winter really takes its toll.
The Lady Spartans’ best shot comes in the form of junior Renee Finan and sophomore Sophie Hunter. Finan did not qualify for the district meet last season. Finan’s best events are the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly.
Stone said he believes Finan is “pretty much a lock” for districts this year. His reasoning is because of how hard she’s worked already this year.
If the rest of Roger Bacon’s roster follows suit, the Spartans could surprise some people this year.