Jeep swimmers expect success for 2019-20


DUBOIS — The Northeast Dubois coach said a sectional championship will be tough to win, but definitely thinks the Jeeps could finish in the top five or even top four at sectionals. Friedman expects that things will be competitive this season.


“We could do better than I expect, but I do want to be realistic with them,” said Friedman, who answered questions Wednesday by email. “That being said, if Dubois is going to win a sectional championship, then this is probably the year we could do it.”

Northeast Dubois has three seniors this year, and Friedman expects two of them, Trenton Harrison and Colby Stafford, to lead the way. Stafford finished in seventh place in the 50 freestyle final heat at sectionals last year. The Jeeps have Jordan Vittitow as their other senior. Friedman said the only person who is not back from last year is Pierce Brinkman, who is focused on running.

The team will have 12 boys altogether, with a few newcomers brought into the fold. Freshmen Rolen Case and Ben Woods swam under Friedman in middle school, and help comprise a team with seven upperclassmen and five underclassmen. Lorenzo Vaiardi is a foreign exchange student from Italy, and is one of four juniors Northeast Dubois has. She said Vaiardi has qualified for national level competitions.

“Lorenzo is a jack of all trades,” Friedman said. “He swims everything and he swims it very well. He is eager to swim in the U.S. and has his sights set on qualifying for state. He puts in the work and I think this goal is definitely attainable for him.”

Friedman said the Jeeps couldn’t be in the water this summer because Northeast Dubois had its pool remodeled. She said her swimmers that weren’t in a fall sport did a lot of circuit training during the summer and ran twice a week. Friedman called running the next best to prepare for the season because of how much endurance is needed for swimming.

She said her boys relays will be stronger this year, and it will be a fight for the who ends up on the A relays. Friedman sees her male swimmers excelling in most events. She thinks Vaiardi will thrive in the breaststroke because of his quickness and added he’s been breaking school records in practice. Friedman said Stafford will stay in the 50 freestyle, and predicts Woods will excel in the 100 fly.

Northeast Dubois’ girls team has six swimmers and no seniors this year, as Emily Merkley will instead be a manager. Friedman called her girls team small, but mighty. She said all six of them have been swimming for many years. Junior Adelle Fravell is the eldest of the female swimmers for Northeast Dubois. Friedman said Fravell and sophomore Anna Schnell will lead the way for Jeeps’ girls team. Friedman expects Fravell and freshman Elizabeth Schepers to do well in the backstroke, while anticipating Schnell will do well in the free events. She said her other three swimmers: Kendall Buechler, a freshman, and Sabrina Dunning and Jade Mundy, both sophomores, will be wild cards.

She thinks the girls team will do best in the 200 Medley and 400 Freestyle in the relays.

“My main focus with these girls is to make them well-rounded swimmers,” she said. “I plan on taking them out of their comfort zone and helping them find that there is more to swimming other than freestyle. If it helps us win some meets, that is great. If not, then that is okay, too. We have a lot of fun and at the end of the day, that’s what I want these girls to remember.”

The season is set to begin at 6 p.m. on Nov. 25 at Salem. Friedman said the Jeeps will continue to work on fundamentals, which she is a big believer in. She said there’s always room for growth in fundamentals. Friedman said she works on the stroke, starts and flip turns with a lot of drill work added in at the beginning of the year. She added Northeast Dubois will work to begin increasing yardage to an extent and spend two days a week in the weight room.

“Salem is similar in size to us, and there is a good chance we will come out on top if we continue putting in the work,” Friedman said.


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