Southridge girls return bulk of pool experienceNovember 19, 2019
By JONATHAN SAXON
HUNTINGBURG — The Southridge swim team begins its season on Thursday, with the girls leading off against the Gibson Southern Titans in a home dual meet. That seems appropriate given that the girls will bring back the bulk of the pool experience for the Raiders this season.
“The girls team numbers are pretty good and it’s almost all returning swimmers,” said Raiders coach Amy Kaetzel. “They’ve been working really hard. They’ve got some goals and things they’d like to do before the end of the season. The boys side is mostly new swimmers. They’ve got a lot to learn.”
Kaetzel said most of the girls swimmers are looking forward to settling into their events and perfecting their techniques during the winter so they can challenge for individual titles during the conference meet toward the season’s end. As for sectionals, she also thinks the girls have the talent to send at least one relay team to state this season.
She is managing her expectations on the boys side since the team only has four swimmers and everyone is mostly new to competing at the high school level. She’ll be measuring them on how they use the meets to get better as the season goes on. However, Kaetzel hopes the boys, despite their few numbers, can develop a viable relay team to compete at sectional by the end of the season.
“I think the girls should place pretty high at PAC (Pocket Athletic Conference),” she said. “In sectional we’d really like to take a relay to state. We’ll see how that goes. For the boys team, I’m hoping to just make some progress, cut some time and improve their skills.”
The Southridge girls team is led by a senior core that features Chaney Barrett, Cheyanne Motteler and senior diver Evie Sherer, who finished fourth overall in sectional last year. The Raiders also welcome back senior Elizabeth Fleck, who returns after taking two seasons off from the team.
Sophomore Adi Luker is returning to build on her freshman season, where she finished third in the 100-yard freestyle ad second in the 100-yard backstroke. She also swam the anchor leg for the 200-yard freestyle relay team, which finished third at sectional. Claire Hentrup and Jordan Biehl are another pair of sophomores that Kaetzel thinks are primed to have solid seasons.
Junior Elijah Horton, who first got into the pool last season, is the lone returning swimmer from last season on the boys team. However, freshman Reilly Lechner has prior swimming experience and could develop into a pleasant surprise for the team by the end of the season.
Kaetzel thinks the girls should develop into a strong relay collective, but also believes both teams will be competitive in the sprinting events this season. Outside of that, she hopes the Raiders can avoid the injury bug and swim their best times at the end of the season so they can realize their ambitions for the state meet.
“I really think one of the relays could probably make it to state this year on the girls team,” said Kaetzel. “We’ll just wait and see.”
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