Swimmers ready for district weekend

In a tuneup for the district competition, the Husky swim team split with Redmond, winning the boys events 76-73 and losing in the girls events 91-74.

But that meet served only as a chance for head coach Doug Peargin to get one more look at his swimmers as he prepared to make placements for this week’s district challenge to be held at South Albany starting this Friday at 9 a.m. That was done over the weekend, and now Peargin said the outcome will be determined in large part by how many of his 19 swimmers qualify forSaturday’s finals and in how many events.

“We’re low on numbers, but we have a lot of guts and heart,” said Peargin. “They have done everything they can do. It’s just a matter of sharpening the sword.”

Every swimmer will be entered in three events minimum, whether that is individual events or relays. Many will be going in four, the maximum allowed.

“If we get all 19 back on Saturday, we have a chance to be in the top three in both boys andgirls,” said Peargin. “There’s no sense in going out and swimming a mediocre race. That’s not what we swam all season for.”

Friday is an elimination day for the 11 district schools. Only the top twelve in each event move on to Saturday, the day when the trophies and team awards will be passed out. To getprepared, the swimmers will reduce their yardage this week, using the practice team instead topractice their starts and turns to try to cut down precious seconds of their times.

Peargin feels fairly confident, especially in the amount of work each swimmer has done to prepare for this moment.

“We’re pretty healthy,” said Peargin. “We will be in better shape than any other school.”

The boys will be led by senior Sean Martin, whose specialties are the 200 and 500 meterfreestyle. Other top performers include Jeff Stratman and Larry Coulter.

“I think we’re ready,” said Martin about the boys team, which has been tapering for the event. “A lot of guys are feeling pretty good in the water and ready for some good swims.”

The girls will be counting on returning state qualifier sophomore Dani Birky, senior sprinter and team leader, Anne Helfrich, and freshman standout Nichole Martin. Likewise, Helfrich that the girls have begun to come together.

“We’re tapering so we have a lot more energy,” said Helfrich. “We are more capable than we have shown so far. Hopefully, at district we’ll kick it at district and show what we are capable of.”

Peargin expects that his top swimmers will get the job done in their individual events and lead their relay teams to high placings, but it will be the remaining swimmers who will determine the success of the team.

“They will have to fall back on their conditioning and just go after it,” said Peargin.

On Saturday, starting again at 9 a.m., those left standing will compete for the trophies and possible trips to the state meet in Corvallis the following week.