The Independent League Regional Swimming Meet Feb. 2 and 3 in Colorado Springs was the final action of the season for the 10 members of the Englewood High School girls swimming team.
“The season went pretty well and I am pleased with what the girls accomplished considering we had such a small roster,” Pirates coach Tracey Lonn said. “We are basically a young team and a couple of the girls had never been on any level swim team before. They worked hard and the improvement was amazing. I am proud of the accomplishments of each of the girls.”
The Pirates finished ninth at the league meet with 63 points. The majority of the points were scored by the three relay teams.
The 200 freestyle relay team of Sage Sherman Rebecca Sheppard, Shawna Eldridge and Rachel Nickerson came in ninth after swimming a 2:39.26 while the 200 medley relay team of Marissa Johnson, Eldridge, Natalie Pena and Lauren West swam a 2:40.52, good for a seventh place finsih.
The 400 freestyle relay team of Sheppard, Nickerson, Pena and Johnson swam a 5:30.25, also good for ninth place.
Two Pirates finished in the top 16 in their individual event.
Pena swam a 3:089.38 to finish 16th in the 200 individual medley and Nickerson swam a 1:38.80 to finish 15th in the 100 butterfly.
Coach Lonn said she the fact that, for the first season, Englewood didn’t have a home pool was a challenge. She said some girls who initially showed interest in being on the team decided against it when they found they would have to ride the bus to the recreation center for practice each day.
“But the girls who did stay with the team were amazing,” the coach said. “Each of them showed great individual determination and strength. Over the season,I saw girls improve their times from 20 to 90 seconds, depending on the length of the event. I also watched their self confidence go through the roof as they swam and did well in events they didn’t think they could swim, much less be competitive.”
Lonn said swimming is a physically demanding sport that requires an individual to be dedicated to battle through the aches and pains that come with training and developing the strength and stamina to swim in competition.
“I think all our girls only swim the high school season,” she said. “They do well but we don’t do well against the stronger team and we don’t have many state qualifiers. That is because, to be competitive at a high level and qualify for state, a girl can’t just swim the 16 weeks of the high school season.”
Lonn said only one of the 10 swimmers graduates in June and the other nine girls have said they plan to be on the team again next season.
“We also had quite a bit of interest in girls swimming at the open house for incoming ninth graders,” the coach said. “I think we had nine girls who said they planned to join the team next season. I hope they come out and they stick with us because that would give us more depth and help make us more competitive.”