Scouting local girls swimming teams

2011-11-17T19:00:00Z 2012-11-15T04:26:07Z Scouting local girls swimming teams nwitimes.com
November 17, 2011 7:00 pm

Region Rundown

Top 10

1. Chesterton

2. Munster

3. Crown Point

4. Lake Central

5. Valparaiso

6. Lowell

7. Wheeler

8. Portage

9. Michigan City

10. LaPorte

 

Star Gazing

Julia Campbell, Jr., Chesterton

Shelby Carroll, Sr., Lake Central

Kate Curley, Jr., Chesterton

Khalela El-Naggar, So., Valparaiso

Brittany Gilbert, Sr., Munster

Jillian Homans, Sr., Munster

Carly Jackson, Jr., LaPorte

Olivia Kabacinski, Sr., Chesterton

Sierra King, Sr., Portage

Maddie Miller, Sr., Chesterton

Hannah Raspopovich, Sr., Crown Point

Holly Schuster, So., Crown Point

Conference Predictions

Duneland Athletic Conference

Favorite: Chesterton

Darkhorse: Crown Point

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Favorite: Gavit

Darkhorse: Morton

Greater South Shore Conference

Favorite: Wheeler

Darkhorse: North Newton

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Favorite: Munster

Darkhorse: Lowell

Northwestern Conference

Favorite: Roosevelt

Darkhorse: West Side

 

Scouting local girls swimming teams

Duneland Athletic Conference

CHESTERTON

Athletes to watch: Julia Campbell, Jr., distance, back; Kate Curley, Jr., distance, IM; Olivia Kabacinski, Sr., free; Maddie Miller, Sr., IM, back, breast, fly.

Outlook: The Trojans return four solid veterans with quality state-meet experience. Juniors Mae Bass and Marissa Kroeger (diving) plus sophomores Madison Coudriet and Stephanie Krause just scratch the surface of Chesterton's deep youthful lineup.

Quote: "I was pleasantly surprised in our (season opener) against Highland because I found out we have a little more depth than I thought. We've got a way to go, but we're already taking some big steps." — Coach Kevin Kinel

CROWN POINT

Athletes to watch: Hannah Raspopovich, Sr., free, breast; Holly Schuster, So., IM; Rachel Bukowski, So., free, back; Hannah Schuster, Sr., free

Outlook: The Bulldogs have the No. 1 and No. 2 swimmers to compete with anyone in the state — it's the No. 3 swimmers who are less of a known commodity. How their depth improves as the season goes on will dictate their conference and postseason success.

Quote: "We have a very strong team. The real question will be do we have a very deep team? The No. 3 girls in each event will have to step up for us. I have confidence that they will." — Coach Bryon Angerman

LAKE CENTRAL

Athletes to watch: Shelby Carroll, Sr., back, free; Liz Markiewicz, Jr., fly; Tracy Muszalski, So., distance.

Outlook: The Indians took third in conference and second in sectional last year. They look to improve with four state level swimmers back and a young group of underclassmen that will provide depth and balance.

Quote: "I think we'll be very competitive in the DAC and in the sectional. I'm excited to see how these girls perform." — Coach Todd Smolinski

LAPORTE

Athletes to watch: Carly Jackson, Jr., distance, fly.

Outlook: Jackson is a seasoned veteran of the state finals, adding a pair of top-12 finishes last season. The Slicers will try to build off Jackson's success.

MERRILLVILLE

Athletes to watch: Kara Phillips, Jr., diving; Kennedy Wilck, So., free, fly; Caitlinn Caddick, So., back, free; Hailey Holden, Sr., distance, breast.

Outlook: The Pirates look to be more competitive in the DAC this season while attempting to improve on last season's finish at the Chesterton Sectional. Added depth will help the team improve its relays. Coach Ladd Downham wants to see the juniors step up.

Quote: "We are a young, hardworking team. We have the potential to do some good things this year as long as all athletes step up to the challenge." — Downham

MICHIGAN CITY

Athletes to watch: Kristina Parrish, Sr., distance, IM; Erin Callaghan, So., breast; Jaymie Pliskey, So., fly.

Outlook: The addition of freshmen Kyra Oselka (sprints) and Raycelle Deanda (IM) gives coach Dan Jenkins even more depth to his roster.

Quote: "We can certainly accommodate some shifts in our lineup. We'll use our depth to our advantage." — Jenkins

PORTAGE

Athletes to watch: Tayler Bayer, Sr., distance; Sierra King, Sr., breast, IM; Jordan Parker, So., back, fly; Morgan Knight, Fr., sprints, free.

Outlook: State qualifier King leads a developing lineup for co-coach Greg Mundt. Beginning this season, Mundt will share coaching responsibilities on both the boys and girls squads with his brother Eric.

Quote: "We're just continuing to build our depth in the program. We were able to win races last year, but we lost meets because we weren't able to back them up. — Greg Mundt

VALPARAISO

Athletes to watch: Allie Lamberson, Sr., free; Kaitlyn Steffus, Jr., fly, distance; Khalela El-Naggar, Jr., diving.

Outlook: El-Naggar leads a quality group of divers, while Lamberson and Steffus give the overall team some leadership. Coach Pete Sattler has more than 15 additions, and he's just trying to figure out what he has on the roster.

Quote: "We're pretty much up to the same old stuff, helping the girls make time drops. It could be an exciting year, but it's too early to tell." — Sattler

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

CLARK

Athletes to watch: Tori Lunsford, Sr.; Randi Moritz, Sr.; Chelsea McCullom, Sr.

Outlook: The Pioneers have a new coach in Diane Del Rio and an increase in their numbers. Nine returners from last year provide experience, and several newcomers bring enthusiasm. They look to improve their conference standing, especially in the GLAC Meet.

Quote: "We have a nice mix on the team, and more depth. The girls are all working very hard and continue to bring a lot of energy to practice." — Del Rio

GAVIT

Athletes to watch: Stephanie Maman, Sr., distance; Helen Shelton, Jr., sprint, relays; Katie Goodrich, Jr., IM, fly.

Outlook: The Gators have a new coach this year, Courtney Smith. Maman, Shelton and Goodrich return from last year's conference championship team. The focus will be on consistency and improvement through the season.

Quote: "We have a strong nucleus that should help us put points on the board. We want to cut our times down consistently during the season." — Smith

HAMMOND

Athletes to watch: Alex Kaminski, Sr., breast, IM; Samantha Taylor, Jr., fly, back; Kristin Powers, Jr., back.

Outlook: The Wildcats' numbers are down a little this season, with only 8-9 girls out on a daily basis. Coach Sue Ann Mathewson continues to recruit while focusing the group on technique and skill drills. The 'Cats hope to make a splash in conference competition.

Quote: "We are working very hard to be the best we can be. Hopefully, we can add a few more girls and provide some depth to our relays." — Mathewson

MORTON

Athletes to watch: Rachel Metz, Jr., free, back; Lilly Mendoza, So., sprints; Cierra Higginson, So., breast.

Outlook: The Governors finished second in conference last year and then sent a relay team to the sectional finals. But graduation took away their top guns, and the Govs have no returning seniors. Coach Brian Rycerz has 12 younger swimmers to shape.

Quote: "It's a new year with several new girls on the team. Hopefully, we can continue to work hard and improve our times through the year." — Rycerz

Greater South Shore Conference

BISHOP NOLL

Athletes to watch: Jacque Lelo, Jr.; Breanna Banske, Jr.

Outlook: The numbers have slowly increased for the Warriors the past three seasons, thanks to recruiting efforts by teammates Lelo and Banske. Coach Pam Armagast is focused on technique and skill drills to improve timing and performance.

Quote: "I'm looking forward to developing these athletes and continuing to grow the Bishop Noll program." — Coach Pam Armagast

CALUMET

Athletes to watch: Roberta Pivoriute, Jr., distance; Kalese Thomas, So., IM, back.

Outlook: The Warriors are up to 17 swimmers this season, and that alone has generated enthusiasm at Calumet. Returners Pivoriute and Thomas anchor a solid core group that learned a lot about competitive swimming last season. That confidence should help this season and going forward.

Quote: "So far I am very impressed with the team. They have shown a dedication to hard work and improvement, and have accomplished quite a lot in a short time." — Coach AnnMarie Keene

NORTH NEWTON

Athletes to watch: Jenny Madrigal, Sr., sprints, free; Lexi Strubing, Jr., sprints, free; Andrea Kelly, Sr., distance.

Outlook: The Spartans lost five seniors to graduation, quite a lot for such a small school. New coach Audrey Combs-Long has 11 girls out daily and is looking to add a few more for depth.

Quote: "Our outlook is pretty good for this year, even though we lost several swimmers. We are working hard every day and hope to be competitive at our meets." — Combs-Long

SOUTH CENTRAL

Athletes to watch: Tori Klimczak, Jr., sprints.

Outlook: Klimczak was fourth in the 100 free and sixth in the 50 free at last year's Chesterton Sectional, so the goal remains: advance to state. Mother and coach Gretchen Klimczak said her daughter will add a few swims this season, thanks to the cooperation of Hobart's athletic department.

Quote: "She does have a couple of more meets, and we're really grateful to Hobart. Tori is already pretty close to her sectional times, so we're already ahead of the curve." — Gretchen Klimczak

WHEELER

Athletes to watch: Isabella Popovich, Jr., sprints; Kelly Nikolich, Sr., sprints, distance; Audrey Schnell, Jr., back, IM; Danielle Radosevich, Sr., back, fly.

Outlook: The addition of Valpo transfer Radosevich plus freshmen Katie Wong (free, fly) and Sara Helermich (distance) will strengthen the Bearcats' hold in the conference. Coach Adam Klimczak has his largest group in his tenure (30 athletes), and he hopes added talent and depth will prove fruitful in the postseason.

Quote: "Our age-group program keeps giving us good swimmers, and that helps pump fresh blood into our program. That's a must. We're able to replace talent, and that should help us be more competitive at the Chesterton Sectional." — Klimczak

Northwestern Conference

LEW WALLACE

Outlook: The Hornets continue to work on building up the program through recruitment. Depth is a priority for relays.

ROOSEVELT

Outlook: The Panthers lost several swimmers to graduation but still have decent numbers in the pool. Coach Leslie Dillion has the group focused on technique and skill drills to improve individual times.

Quote: "I'm expecting great things. We're looking at the Northwestern Conference and trying to make an impact there." — Coach Leslie Dillon

WEST SIDE

Outlook: The Cougars lost a lot of depth because of graduation last season. They hope to bounce back with an influx of youth.

Northwest Crossroads Conference

GRIFFITH

Athletes to watch: Kalie Lastagarkov, Sr., fly, free; Allie Meece, Jr., distance, back.

Outlook: Danelle Bulatovich takes over the coaching reins at Griffith. Several returning swimmers are joined by a new crop of underclassmen who have shown a strong talent level. The team goal is to get many more swimmers back on the second day of sectionals.

Quote: "I am looking forward to many personal and team successes this year. We have implemented some new training methods and hope to see times drop and higher placements." — Bulatovich

HIGHLAND

Athletes to watch: Jordan Galovich, Jr., sprints; Jesse Zendajas, So., distance; Marie Stockton, So., breast; Lauren Maginot, So., sprints, back.

Outlook: The Trojans are a young team this year, having lost several top swimmers to graduation. But they are a deep team with several sophomores and juniors who learned what it takes to be competitive last year. Coach Ryan Harrington has a lot of talent to work with.

Quote: "This is a smart team; they know what they need to do as well as how to do it. The experience they got last season is going to help them out this year. We might surprise some people." — Harrington

HOBART

Athletes to watch: Alivia Pender, So., IM, fly; Kaylee Gubricky, Fr., IM, breast; Morgan Courteau, So., distance.

Outlook: The Brickies have no seniors this season, and the overall numbers are down somewhat. Many of the new girls who joined this year have no experience, so coach Cindy Carter will have the team focus on technique and skill drills.

Quote: "We are spending a lot of time on the basics, which is a good thing for this group. They work hard and get better every day. The girls have a lot of enthusiasm." — Carter

KANKAKEE VALLEY

Athletes to watch: Lindsey Strong, Sr., IM, fly; Abbey Sittena, So., sprints; Madison Badicka, So., distance.

Outlook: The Kougars have good numbers this season, both in returning swimmers and newcomers. Coach Kevin Stephens has a lot of depth and balance to help fill in the gaps. The team goal is to try to improve their conference standing this season.

Quote: "We have very good foundation, and we need to build on that. We have been improving every year, and we want to stay the course." — Stephens

LOWELL

Athletes to watch: Morgan Campbell, Sr., IM, back; Rachel Smith, Jr., IM, fly; Mikki Wood, Fr., distance.

Outlook: The Red Devils have taken second place in the tough NCC for five years in a row and look to make it six this season. They are a young team overall but have a lot of swimmers with competitive experience. Coach Sherry Hilbrich has a good program going.

Quote: "We want to get more girls into the second day of sectionals. We have good leadership and good attitude, and I'm confident we'll be able to build on our success level." — Hilbrich

MUNSTER

Athletes to watch: Brittany Gilbert, Sr., back, fly; Jillian Homans, Sr., distance, free; Cara Leeney, Sr., diving; Emily Wimmer, Jr., breast.

Outlook: The Seahorses had a very successful season last year, finishing seventh in the state. Boys coach Matt Pavlovich takes over the girls program as well as the boys. A strong incoming group of freshman will provide depth and balance for a team that already was one of the strongest in the state.

Quote: "Our goal this season is to get a top five finish at state. The girls are working very hard to achieve that goal and their personal bests. It should be a great season." — Pavlovich

OTHERS

E.C. CENTRAL

Athletes to watch: Maria Ochoa, Sr., IM; Destiny Figueroa, Sr., breast; Karla Nunez, Sr., free.

Outlook: The Cardinals have five returning seniors plus 10 newcomers to provide coach Susan Biggs with some much needed depth. Many of the newcomers have basic skills but need a lot of technique training.

Quote: "We have a strong core of swimmers but need to do a lot of building as a team. The girls have a lot of enthusiasm and energy, and their focus is very positive." — Biggs

RENSSELAER

Athletes to watch: Leslie Smith, Sr., sprints; Katy Urbano, Sr., IM, fly; Sidney Dobson, Fr., IM, back.

Outlook: The Bombers finished third in the Hoosier conference last season and look to improve. Senior Leslie Smith has a chance to make a splash during the season and in sectionals. Coach Jill Henady is trying to recruit more depth.

Quote: "We have high expectations for our upperclassmen. We need to build up our younger swimmers, both in terms of ability and numbers." — Henady

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