Despite loss of seniors, girls’ swim and dive team still boasts huge talent

Despite loss of seniors, girls swim and dive team still boasts huge talent

Tommy McGinn, Staff Writer

Having lost six seniors from last year, the BSM girls’ swim and dive will need to rely on the entire team to have success in their new, formidable Metro West Conference and hopefully advance to sections and state this upcoming season.

The team will need to make many adjustments to face the challenges in the season, including a change of personnel on the roster. Having lost key swimmers including a former state participant, Megan Pohle, the team hopes that many new, young talent will contribute to their run. “It’s really going to have to be a whole team effort this year instead of just a few star swimmers,” senior captain Maddy Rockhold said.

Despite the losses, one component that the team is certainly not short of this year is leadership. Seniors Colleen Alexander and Meghan Ortizcazarin join Rockhold as captains, and they all bring a wealth of experience to the table. “Right now the captains have been focusing on making sure everyone is comfortable and on the same page as a team. Since we do have so many new swimmers, we want to make sure they feel at home and know what our team is about,” Rockhold said.

The girls’ swim team, as with all BSM athletics, faces its first year in the Metro West Conference, and with it, a set of unfamiliar foes. Amongst the Class A competition comes big Class AA teams such as Bloomington Jefferson and Chanhassen, both of whom are perennial state championship contenders. “This will be a much harder conference than we were in before, [but] I think we will be good. We will just have to work much harder to reach our goals,” Alexander said.

Even though the team competes against a much tougher schedule this year than they were previously accustomed to, that does not stop these swimmers from setting the bar high as they did in the past two years and scored in the top ten at state. “We would love to be conference champions again as well as section champions and go as far as sending more than four swimmers to state this year as well as all three relays,” Alexander said.

 In his thirteenth season as head coach, Damon Carrison leads the group and is joined by assistant coaches Jon Weidenbacher, Adam Groebner, and Sarah Chillo. The staff’s expertise mixes hard training workouts with instruction on essential fundamentals and gives the BSM girls’ swim and dive team a huge lift in helping them reach their goals this season. “We have an excellent coaching staff and a great group of girls this year that should be able to make this all happen,” Rockhold said.

In order to achieve their goals for this season, veteran swimmers will need set the tone for the rest of the team. “A couple of our key swimmers are on the younger side: Madison Semler and Claire Torgerson. They are both sophomores but have been a couple of our faster swimmers for the past few years,” Rockhold said. Both of these stars were individual section champions in each of their respective events last year, while Semler earned All-State honors in the 500-yard freestyle and Torgerson placed in the top sixteen at State in each of her two sprint events. They also possess versatility, as both swam on two relays at State that finished in the top eight, in which they were not swimming their specialties.

 Although they have these big name stars, they will ultimately need to count on all thirty-six swimmers on the roster to contribute to the team’s success. The rest of the swimmers’ ability to compliment the veteran swimmers will be essential to the team reaching its full potential this season. “Our success this year is really going to depend on that middle tier of swimmers. We always have had excellent swimmers but we will be relying on other swimmers to be able to back them up,” Rockhold said.