After layoff, swimmers come out swinging

Despite a month layoff, the swim team combined for 16 personal bests in their victory over North Marion and Marist.

The boys, led by Jeff Stratman, Larry Coulter, and Sean Martin who each earned first place in four events, amassed 77 points, nearly double that of second place North Marion at 39. The girls also shackled their competitors, winning with a 73 point total compared to North Marion’s 52. For the meet, Nicole Martin also captured four first place finishes while Dani Birky and Katie Jones each had three.

Coach Doug Peargin felt that 16 personal bests, given the fact that the newcomers had little meet experience, was outstanding.

“The rookies are coming on and picking up some points, which I hope will continue to come and help us in district,” said Peargin. “Where the layoff hurt us the most was that it gave me two less meets to experiment with the placement of swimmers in events.”

Even though they missed two meets, the swimmers have put in a lot of water miles, about 25 miles worth over the break. Though attendance was optional during the snow days, attendance was nearly perfect. The team always points to district as their goal; in the meantime, they train hard, seldom taking time to taper until that meet approaches.

“We have still more weeks of hard work before we start getting out of it,” said Peargin, who figures Junction City will be the team to beat in the boys and the Tigers and Philomath will be the dominant teams on the girls side in the district meet which is only a month away.

“If we swim well, we have a chance at a top three spot with both boys and girls,” stated Peargin. “It depends on how we swim that day.”

That may well depend on the younger swimmers, many of whom were among those with personal bests. They include: Nicole Martin, 200 free; Krystle Streight, 200 free and 110 fly; Lilly Gilbert, 50 free; Katie Jones, 100 back; Stacy Grove, 100 back and 50 free; Jessica Trautwein, 100 back and 100 free; Larry Coulter, 100 fly; Anthony Erstgaard, 200 free; Matt Maloney, 50 free and 100 breast; Cole Stumbough, 50 free, 100 back, and 100 free; Peter Vanderlip, 50 free, and James Davis, 100 and 500 free.

The Huskies had a home meet Tuesday, hosting Cascade and Silverton. On Saturday, they head to Eugene for the Echo Hollow Invitational, where they will meet among others the vaunted Junction City team.