Everybody in the poolIf numbers are any indication, the Wildcat boys swimming and diving team’s season got off to a good start even before its first meet.
By: Bob Burrows, River Falls Journal
If numbers are any indication, the Wildcat boys swimming and diving team’s season got off to a good start even before its first meet.
The Wildcats’ roster grew from 21 individuals last season to 31 this year, something former assistant and new head coach Brady McAdams says is good to see.
“Last year three seniors graduated, this year we have four new freshmen to replace our seniors, but we also gained six students from grades 10 through 12 that are new to swimming,” he said.
Four state qualifiers return, including senior Eric Emerson, the defending Big Rivers Conference champion in the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke. Emerson is a three-time state qualifier who finished third at state the last two years in the 100 freestyle after placing 12th as a freshman in 2006. He took seventh at state last year in the 100 backstroke after finishing eighth as a sophomore and 15th as a freshman.
Other returning state qualifiers include seniors Nick Hudson, Roland Pomfret and Mason Saari, who teamed up with Emerson last year to place 10th in the 200 freestyle relay after entering the state meet as the 14th seed. The same foursome also moved up two spots from their seeded position in the 400 freestyle relay to finish 13th a year ago at the state meet.
While the Cats have four seniors who return with state meet experience, McAdams said all 18 returning swimmers will make an impact this season.
“Every one of my returning swimmers brings a specific quality to the team,” he said. “To single out one or two would be unjust.”
McAdams said improving times will be a focus of the team as the season progresses.
“We are looking forward to dropping times and developing cohesiveness and self-confidence,” he said.
The Cats, who finished 1-5 in BRC dual meets a year ago, jump right into conference action when they kick off the 2008-09 season Thursday night at Eau Claire North. They will compete at the Chippewa Falls Invitational Saturday before returning to Chippewa Falls for a BRC dual meet Thursday, Dec. 11. The first home meet is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 16, against Red Wing, Minn.