Even with numbers in its favor the Weston High girls swim team will not take any chances when it comes to having all of the events covered as it prepares to start the 2012 season.
With 31 girls on the team (25 swimmers, six divers) the Trojans are in good shape in this respect. Each is also capable of competing in more than one event.
“We have a lot of versatility,” said head coach Tom Grace, now in his sixth season with the team. “We’re getting everything squared away.”
Practicing for more than two weeks now the Trojans have had plenty of time to get ready. Most of them have been matched with their regular events although that can change depending on the meet. They will be put to the test when they open the season this week.
Many will be back in the events they swam last season when the Trojans finished with a 7-4 record in the South-West Conference. That team finished fifth at the South-West Conference finals.
For the second straight year the Trojans took first at the state Class S finals, edging Lauralton Hall.
However, the Trojans graduated quite a few swimmers since then. Some were major point scorers.
Two were captains Catie Ledwick and Julia DiMarco, both of whom were All-State selections. The former was a freestyle swimmer who was also in the relays and the latter was third in the diving event in Class S.
Also gone are captains Charlotte Berger, who swam the 200 individual medley, and Carlye Rosen, who was in the 100 butterfly.
Another loss is that of Katie Angelidis (All-State), a butterfly and relay swimmer. Juliette Zirn, McCall Kelley (All-State) and Carolyn Figliola have also graduated, as has diver Lauren Ferguson.
“They were very big,” said Grace. “We’ve got some holes.”
They will count on a number of returning swimmers to help fill in these gaps. Among them are senior captains Hannah Schroeder, Jill Kleban, Lucy Watson and Alex Edgar.
A diver, Schroeder was Class S runner-up and named to the All-State team. Kleban will swim short freestyle and Watson will compete in the breaststroke. Edgar (All-State) will swim freestyle events.
“All came back with renewed vigor and are ready to go,” said Grace.
Senior Andrea Janis is an experienced diver and will give Weston depth in that event. Swimming in the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly will be Lauren Solinsky.
Olivia Clark (All-SWC, All-State) is the defending league champ in the 50 and freestyle events and Class S champ in the 100 breaststroke as well as runner-up in the 500 free. She will swim mainly the latter two events this season.
From the junior class is Katie Johnson (All-state, All-SWC honorable mention), a sprint freestyle swimmer. Classmate Keturah Sarno is back for the diving event.
Brenna Nimkoff is a freestyle swimmer who will also compete in the 200 IM and the butterfly. Another competitor in the butterfly is Clare Murray, who could possibly swim the 200 IM.
“Her breaststroke has improved quite a bit,” said Grace.
Other candidates for the breaststroke include Meredith Gosnell and Dacia Gross (All-State), who is also a sprint freestyle swimmer.
Weston will also count on a few sophomores to score points. Emily Clark will swim the backstroke, as will Emily Olin, who can also swim freestyle. Alana Berger and Julia Clark will also compete in the freestyle events.
In the breaststroke Weston has Olivia Watson and Maren Panzier is a diver.
According to Grace, Weston also has some really good freshmen this season and may call on some to help make an impact as the season continues.
Weston visit New Fairfield today (Thursday) at 4:30 p.m. and hosts New Milford on Tuesday at 4.