Sports

Swimmers get new faces and a ‘new’ pool

21 freshman ready to help Spartans win a state title in November.

The season for the Bainbridge girls swim and dive team has started with some problems, as head coach Greg Colby said they’ve had to change things around with the pool at the Bainbridge Island Aquatic Center being relined and repainted and chipped tiles repaired.

It was closed early in August to ensure it would open before practice started, but delays pushed it back to yesterday.

They’ve had to reschedule their meet with Kamiak to make it away, but the rest of their schedule is intact when they host Camas Sept. 14 and the annual Spartan Relays the following day.

Whether they’ll come up against more problems during the 2007 season and how they deal with it will show whether they can contend for a team title.

Last season, the Spartans went 8-2 in dual meets before taking third at districts and second at the state meet.

It’s the 13th straight year they’ve finished in the top three at state.

Colby was concerned about some swimmers coming into the season not at top shape and then try to work their way to a state time over the season, but he feels they’ve improved that aspect coming into this season.

“I think our top state returners have been fairly consistent,” he said. “It’s a lot better than last summer.”

Those swimmers with postseason experience are seniors and co-captains Keziah Beall and Tessa Griffin, senior Isabel Williams and juniors Julie Pendleton, India Wade and Kristine Valdez.

Everyone save for Valdez scored for Bainbridge at state, with Williams winning the 100 butterfly title and breaking the school record set by Melissa Clune in 2000.

Also returning with district and/or state experience are seniors Gabby Arens, Gabi Goodson, Kira McGieson, Colleen Carroll and diver and co-captain Shelby Mann, juniors Margaret Huisinga, Anna Wood and Lisa Heinlen and sophomore Eliza Silverman.

To bookend those with experience in the big meets are 21 incoming freshmen, the biggest group of rookies Colby has ever had in his time at Bainbridge.

Those numbers push the team up to 52 swimmers, the biggest squad in school history.

“Dual meet wise, we’re going to be really deep,” he said. “It’s just crazy. I can’t believe it.

“They all have BISC experience and their skill level is extremely high,” he continued. “I think every single kid can swim all four strokes – maybe not with perfect technique, but they can do it.”

He expects nearly all of them to swim at meets, but admitted it will be hard for them to get consistent time.

“It’s going to be a big management thing all season long,” he said.

Still, their numbers can only help in getting Bainbridge back to state and possibly win, as many teams have lost their big scorers to graduation.

“That’s definitely a goal for the seniors this year,” Beall said of winning a title. “I think we have a lot of potential.”

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