Home >> Sports >> 2017-18 high school girls swimming preview

2017-18 high school girls swimming preview

By: Warren Mayes


The Lafayette Lancers won the state girls swim meet last winter and coach Todd Gabel has several athletes back this season to try and repeat.

However, there will be a least one new state champion in February. That’s because there will be two classes in high school girls swimming for the first time this winter.

Girls swimming in the Missouri State High School Activities Association reached the number of registered schools that met the requirement to expand to two classifications.

Gabel said he is curious to see how it will work out.

“It will be interesting on how the meets will go with the two classes,” Gabel said. “I see an advantage that it does give more opportunities to swim at state. I actually liked the fact we were all at one meet it really let our athletes shine in their events and they are the state champion.

“Now, there will be two state champions and they will have to compare times which is a lot different then being in the race together.”

The state championships will now begin on Thursday morning, with the preliminary heats for Class 1 swimming being in the first session. The Class 1 diving competition will take place on Thursday afternoon. Friday morning will begin with the championship and consolation heats for Class 1, with Class 2 prelim heats taking place on Friday evening. Saturday morning will start with the Class 2 diving competition, followed by the championship and consolation swimming heats for Class 2.

Joining Lafayette in Class 2 will be Eureka, Marquette and Parkway South.

Competing in Class 1 will be Incarnate Word Academy, MICDS, Parkway Central, Parkway North, Parkway West, St. Joseph’s Academy and Westminster Christian Academy.

Marquette finished third last year in the state meet. Coach Joe Schoedel has 10 state qualifiers returning ensuring the Mustangs will be among the top contenders come February.

Kent Kehr enters his 31st year leading the Westminster Christian Academy Wildcats. Junior Payton Dunn, who swims in the 500 and 200, already has committed to go to Pepperdine.

This is one new coach this season. Tracy Baer returns to her alma mater of St. Joseph’s Academy to be the new head coach.  This is Baer’s seventh year of coaching girls high school swimming. She spent three seasons with Barat Academy and three seasons with Ursuline Academy. She was a former four-year state swimmer at St. Joseph’s Academy.

“I’m thrilled to be coaching my alma mater,” Baer said.

Here is a look at the local teams.

EUREKA WILDCATS

2016-2017 record: 7-5.

Coach: Nate Kortuem, entering second year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: Courtney Teague, head dive coach. Wayne Huckshold assistant swim coach.

Returning: 14 returning, 4 state qualifiers

Swimmers to watch this winter: Senior Megan McSalley a great back and freestyle swimmer, Senior Ally Weis, a diver who finished third last year at state. Sophomore Lily Harrell, who finished 10th in the 100 back last year at state and qualified in for state last year in the 200 IM.

Newcomers expected to contribute: Emma Harris, Mckenzie Swope, Anna Lombardo, Erika Mock.

Captains: Megan McSalley and Molly Kerr

Swimmers who have committed to college: None

Team strengths: Strong in all four strokes. Picked up some great freestylers this year.

Goals: Finish third or better at conference, Have all three relays qualify for state.

Suburban West Conference teams: Eureka, Lafayette, Lindbergh, Marquette, Melville, Oakville, Parkway South and Seckman

Favorites to win conference: Lafayette or Marquette. These two teams will be very hard to beat they are two of the top teams in the state.

LAFAYETTE LANCERS

2016-17 record: 8.1 Second in conference meet. Won state meet.

Coach: Todd Gabel, entering 14th year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: Hilarie Wilson, the diving coach.

Returning: 9

Swimmers to watch for this winter: Senior Franceska Petrosino in 100 fly and 200 free, junior Cate Behl in 200 and 500 free, junior Katie Haefner in 100 breast and 200 IM, sophomore Sarah Higgins in the 100 back, junior Katie Locke in 100 back, Delaney Thomas in 50 and 100 free, Claire Vanbiljon, in 100 and 200 free, sophomore Paige Daws in 100 breast and 200 IM, senior Ele Christie in diving.

Newcomers expected to contribute: Freshman Sydney Durbin in 500 free and 100 breaststroke, freshman Zoe Bishop in 200 IM and 100 breaststroke.

Captains: Not named

Swimmers who have committed to college: None

Suburban West Conference teams: Eureka, Lafayette, Lindbergh, Marquette, Mehlville, Oakville and Parkway South

Final thought: “This will be a fun group to coach,” Gabel said. “I’m looking forward to what they can do.”

MARQUETTE MUSTANGS

2016-17 record: 10-0 in duals. Won conference meet. Third at state meet. Two state champions in Alyssa Lemon (200 free) and Ashley Yarbrough (diving).

Coach: Joe Schoedel, entering eighth year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: Jessie Brown (diving) and Robin Craig (swimming)

Returning: 25 returning; 10 state qualifiers

Swimmers to watch for this winter: Amanda Yu, Lexi Basler, Lauren Berning, Eva Main, Taryn Zweifel, Abigail Nebot, Jenny Flores, Maegan Saleh, Maddie Kelsey

Newcomers expected to contribute: Haley Hume and Hailey Benting

Captains: Lexi Basler and Taryn Zweifel

Swimmers who have committed to college: None

Team strengths: As usual, our depth is our strength. Will be tested this year after losing a significant portion of state scorers from last year. However, we are returning 10 girls with state cuts, so there should not be a big dropoff.

Goals: Another undefeated season. Win conference. Place as high at state as possible.

Suburban West Conference teams: Eureka, Lafayette, Lindbergh, Marquette, Mehlville, Oakville and Parkway South

Favorites to win conference: Marquette and Lafayette

Final thought: “I’m excited for this season,” Schoedel said. “I think a lot of teams will think we are down this year after losing some fast girls last year. But our team is eager to prove they can compete with anyone, and the new state format should work in our favor. We’ve had some girls just waiting for their opportunity for the past couple of years, so this year we will see who steps up.”

MICDS RAMS

2016-17 record: 7-3. Fourth in conference meet. Evie Mauze reached state finalsin the 100 back and 200 free and scored 25th place in the state meet.

Coach: Kristen Kaiser, entering 12th year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: Chris McCrary and Andy Balczo

Returning: 16 returning swimmers; 4 state qualifiers

Swimmers to watch for this winter: Senior Caroline Liekweg in 200 free and 500 free, junior Grace Lee in 200 IM and 100 back.

Newcomers expected to contribute: Freshman Madigan Kinsey

Captains: Not named yet.

Swimmers who have committed to college: None

Team strengths: About doubled size of team from years past. Are at about 45 girls this year.

Goals: Have a great showing at conference and at state.

Metro League teams: John Burroughs, Lutheran North, Lutheran South, MICDS, Principia and Westminster Christian Academy

Favorites to win conference: John Burroughs and Westminster Christian Academy

Final thought: “I am thrilled with the interest in our team from newcomers of all grades, and will be relying on the veterans to lead this team,” Kaiser said. “The enthusiasm has been contagious thus far, and we will be looking for that to continue and carry us into a great championship season.”

PARKWAY CENTRAL COLTS

2016-17 record: 11-1 in duals. Won Parkway Quad and conference meet. Finished eighth in state meet. Madison Brown won first place in backstroke. Brown set new school records in 100 backstroke in 55.49 seconds and in 100 butterfly in 57.76 seconds.

Coach: Jennifer Meyer, entering fifth year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: Natalie Vonarx, diving for fourth year. Nicole Duncan, assistant in first year.

Returning: 3 state qualifiers

Swimmers to watch for this winter: Senior Alexis Poe in sprint free, senior Shelby Ripp in breast and distance free, sophomore Abby Levine in 100 breast where she was fifth in state last year; sophomore Lily Eckenrode in diving.

Newcomers expected to contribute: Freshmen Maggie Ripp in backstroke and Kate Orso in diving.

Captains: Shelby Ripp and Alexis Poe

Swimmers who have committed to college: None

Team strengths: Will be strong in breast, fly, and Medley relay.

Goals: Win conference. Finish in top 4 at state.

Suburban Central Conference teams: Affton, Clayton, Ladue, Normandy, Parkway Central, Parkway West and University City

Favorites to win conference: Parkway West, Ladue and Parkway Central

Final thought: “We have a strong and motivated group of athletes this year,” Meyer said. “The young women are committed to working hard to achieve their goals. It should be another fun season.”

PARKWAY NORTH VIKINGS

Coach: Jennifer Meyer, entering fifth year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: Dawn Newport and Natalie Vonarx for diving

Returning: 14

Swimmers to watch for this winter: Junior Meagan Sotolar in backstroke, fly and distance free; sophomore Meg Battles, Hannah Schaff and Brooke Williams in freestyle and fly events; sophomores Itzel DeZamacona in breast.

Newcomers expected to contribute: Freshmen Paige Bolling, Abby Bockerstett, Sarah Jelliss, Hazel Kessler are experienced and will excel in all events.

Captains: Not decided yet.

Swimmers who have committed to college: None

Team strengths: We have more year round swimmers than in past years.

Goals: Our goals is that the team members learn to support one another well and everyone improves their swimming. Certainly we would love to take multiple swimmers to compete at the state meet.

Suburban XII Conference teams: Hazelwood Central, Hazelwood East, Hazelwood West, Kirkwood, McCluer, McCluer North, Parkway North, Pattonville, Ritenour, Rockwood Summit and Webster Groves.

Favorites to win conference: Kirkwood will probably win. We hope to be competing for second.

Final thought: “Our season has gotten off to a great start,” Meyer said. “The girls are working hard and supporting each other already. We definitely have some great talents. At this time I feel pretty excited about qualifying some relays for state. It sure seems like we have girls that can pull together and do that. Hopefully, we will also send some girls in individual events also.”

PARKWAY SOUTH PATRIOTS

2016-17 record: 6-3. Finished third at conference meet. Megan Hetzler finished sixth in diving at state meet.

Coach: Sara Gerth, entering 10th year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: Jeremy Nichols, Alyssa Meyer and Aimee Kappler

Returning: 3 state qualifiers

Swimmers to watch for this winter: Senior Kirsten Votava in sprint free and fly, junior Brooke Muckerman in breast, sophomore Claire Muckerman in 100 and 200 free, senior Jen Hesterberg in diving; junior Paige Gifford in 100 back, sophomore Summer Hay in sprint free, sophomore Adelle Simmons in fly.

Newcomers expected to contribute: Sophomore Allie Leary in diving.

Captains: Not named

Swimmers who have committed to college: Kirsten Votava to University of Indianapolis

Team strengths: We have great depth on our team in most events and we have girls who are great relay swimmers because they are team oriented athletes.

Goals: Improve our record from last year and score at state, including getting more swimmers and divers to the state meet. Getting those that were close to state cuts last year to the state meet.

Suburban West Conference teams: Eureka, Lafayette, Lindbergh, Marquette, Mehlville, Oakville and Parkway South

Final thought: “I’m excited about this season because I have strong upper class leadership who wants to do well,” Gerth said. “Kirsten Votava came back this year after not swimming high school for the past two years, so I expect her to do very well for us and she should have some great state finishes. She will also significantly contribute to the success of our relays. We have young swimmers coming back who are talented and work hard and will be even better than last year. ”

PARKWAY WEST LONGHORNS

2016-17 record: 5-4 overall and 3-1 conference.

Coach: Allison Zeller Wallace, entering eighth year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: Coleen Sumner and dive coaches Alyssa Meyer and Aimee Kappler

Returning: 19 returning swimmers; 4 returning state qualifiers.

Swimmers to watch for this winter: Seniors Sarah Bonnett in the 200 Free and 100 fly, Jessica Schlueter in the 100 fly, and Sophie Wojdylo in diving. Junior Maria Newton in the 500 free and 100 back. Sophomores Lauren Beard in the 200 IM and 100 breast and Natalie Hitchcock in the 100 back.

Newcomers expected to contribute: Freshman Reese Berry, Megan Leahy and Emma Smout will help add to the depth of our team.

Captains: Sarah Bonnett, Jessica Schlueter and Sophie Wojdylo

Swimmers who have committed to college: None

Team strengths: The girls are working hard to get stronger every day. We will be able to put together some strong relays.

Goals: Would love to win conference and come out top 4 in the Class 1 state meet.

Suburban Central Conference teams: Affton, Clayton, Ladue, Normandy, Parkway Central, Parkway West and University City

Final thought: “I am excited to see how the state meet will look,” Wallace said. “It will be great to give more athletes the opportunity to participate at the state level. Our girls have been working hard and have an opportunity to have a great season.”

PRINCIPIA PANTHERS

2016-17 record: 9-10.

Coach: Brian Peticolas, entering seventh year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: None

Returning: 4 swimmers

Swimmers to watch for this winter: Junior Riley Small in sprint freestyle and backstroke, sophomore Sidney Bradley in diving.

Newcomers expected to contribute: Sophomore Anna Thompson in 200 and 500 free.

Captains: Riley Small and Emma Hanser

Swimmers who have committed to college: None

Goals: Qualify a swimmer for state meet.

Metro League teams: John Burroughs, Lutheran North, Lutheran South, MICDS, Principia and Westminster Christian Academy

Favorites to win conference: John Burroughs, Westminster and MICDS

ST. JOSEPH’S ACADEMY ANGELS

2016-17 record: 11-0 in duals. Won MWAA conference meet. Finished 12th in state meet.

Coach: Tracy Baer, entering first year as head coach at St. Joseph’s Academy.

Assistant coaches: Michele Tischer. This is her 21st year as assistant coach.

Returning: 16 swimmers; 4 state qualifiers

Swimmers to watch for this fall: Sophie Hiotis, Annie Kreikemeier, Emmi Mattern and Chickie Slane, Gretchen Allman, Ally Dugan, Grace Hattrich and Maddie Hernandez

Newcomers expected to contribute: Coming off of a year with no divers, we have five new freshman divers this year that will help the team drive in major points, including Sam Camfield and Olivia Linsman. Swimmer and diver Grace Mackey along with swimmer Emma Cole are expected to make a big impact in relays and individual freestyle and backstroke events.

Captains: Senior Captains Sophie Hiotis, Annie Kreikemeier, Emmi Mattern and Chickie Slane.

Swimmers who have signed to college: Annie Kreikemeier to Miami of Ohio University

Team strengths: We have a strong diving force this year, along with great depth on the swim team that will help lead us to another winning season.

Goals: We’ll be looking to defend our conference title and with the new format at state, hopefully capitalize on our position and bring in a strong top 5 finish at the state meet.

Metro Women’s Athletic Association teams: Cor Jesu, Incarnate Word Academy, Nerinx Hall, St. Joseph’s Academy, Ursuline, Visitation Academy and Villa Duchesne

Favorites to win conference: Both Cor Jesu and Visitation will be strong contenders for the Conference title, with St. Joseph’s Academy.

Final thought: “I’m thrilled to be the new head coach at St. Joseph’s Academy and look forward to the opportunity to grow the already very strong program,” Baer said. “I’m excited to watch our swimmers and divers reach their goals, whether it be a top performance in the conference meet or a state qualifying performance. I look forward to sharing my experience as a former swimmer and teaching the leadership and values as an extension of the Academy.”

WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN ACADEMY WILDCATS

2016-17 record: 11-2. Won the Metro Conference. Mackenzie Wieberg finished seventh in 50 free and 13th in the 100 fly at state meet.

Coach: Kent Kehr, entering 31st year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: Marjan Kempe and diving coach Steve Braun

Returning: 31 returning, 20 newcomers; 2 state qualifiers.

Swimmers to watch for this winter: Junior Payton Dunn in the 500 and 200, senior Jenna Galakatos in the 100 fly and 100 back, senior Brittany Johnson in the 50 and 100 free.

Newcomers expected to contribute: Margo O’Meara in diving.

Captains: Not named

Swimmers who have committed to college: Payton Dunn to Pepperdine

Team strengths: Distance and sprint freestyle, diving.

Goals: Win conference and place all relays and a few individuals to state.

Metro League teams: John Burroughs, Lutheran North, Lutheran South, MICDS, Principia and Westminster Christian Academy.

Favorites to win conference: MICDS.

Final thought: “I’m very excited to see how our new swimmers progress and add to the depth of our team,” Kehr said. “I’m encouraged by the early work of our returning swimmers and can’t wait to see how far our great cadre of divers perform throughout the year.”

 

Print Friendly
Share this:

Comments

comments

X