Girls season going swimmingly—Skinner, Bray lead way into league, state

Max Stoneking, Co-Editor

No girls swimming school record has been broken since the early 1990s.

However, Brandon Simpson, head coach, feels that might change in the coming seasons, with numerous swimmers stepping up their commitment level by training year-round with a club team or on their own.

In years past, having one swimmer achieve a state cut was a big deal for the team, not to mention placing high enough to score at the state meet.

So far this season, many swimmers have achieved state consideration times, and Kianna Skinner, freshman, Addy Bray, sophomore, and Anne Augustyn, senior, have punched their tickets to state with qualification times in the 100 breastroke and 100 backstroke and 50 freestyle respectively.

These swimmers along with five others who will contribute to the relays only, could be in the hunt to place in the top 16 at the state meet, according to Simpson.

“South is going to have its best season since the early ‘90s at these two meets,” Simpson said.

In order for this upward trend to happen, the team had to rethink the way that they train as well as how often they train. The team is no longer using USRPT as they did last year. Simpson felt that the revolutionary way of training that is USRPT was good for sprinting, but sprinting was USRPT’s limit, so he resorted to a more traditional training program with a heavy aerobic and technique base.

The increased yardage is better suited for middle distance events like the 200 freestyle and 200 IM, in which many swimmers now have their state consideration times.

For the frequency of training, more swimmers have come to morning workouts and have swum with a club team when the high school season is not in session.

“Club swimming or swimming all year makes all of the difference,” Simpson said.

Skinner, Bray and Annika Highstrom, senior, all swim for a club team, in addition to a number of other girls who purchased a membership to the YMCA to stay in shape on their own. Simpson considers year round swimming to be the way to take performance in the pool to the next level.

Although the team will be losing 13 seniors, one of which is Augustyn, who has been on the state relays the past two seasons and will be again this year, there is young talent on the team that is committed to getting faster.

“With Kianna and Addy leading the way, the girls swim program will continue this upward trend as long as they continue to swim year-round,” Simpson said. “I also have a couple good juniors, Sarah Buehler and Ashton Reno, who can help make next year’s squad better if they swim a bit more with a club team. There is also an eighth grader who will come in as a state qualifier in every event.”

The league meet took place on May 5-6, where the team took 10th place with 56 points. That is the most points scored at league since Simpson took over the program three years ago. The state meet will take place May 19-20, when the team will look to further capitalize on the increased commitment level during this past offseason.