Swimmers finish in third place at Brown meet
The team had first-place finishes in four of the events. The 400-free relay team and 200-medley relay teams both broke state records. The 400-free team finished with a time of 3:45.38 and the 200-medley team finished with a time of 1:52.64.
Elizabeth Beisel, a freshman at NK and a nationally ranked swimmer, took first place in the 200-individual medley with at time of 2:03.69. Beisel also came in first in the 100-meter backstroke with a 56.59, one second off the Brown pool record. She will get a second shot at the record during the state meet held at Brown in February.
"This was a great meet for us. We finally had all of our swimmers together at one meet and all of our top-end swimmers could swim together," Matte Emmert, head coach, explained.
The meet was a time for the Skippers to shine after being challenged in dual meets so far this season. They have a 5-4 division record, placing them in fifth place in the north division and fifth place over all. Three of their losses coming against north division rivals Barrington, Bay View, and Cumberland. The north is the strong division this season, with all teams but one having a better record than the first-place team in the south division.
The Skippers would like to have more depth in some events, which would help them in scoring at the dual meets.
"That is the reason that our dual meet record is what it is," Emmert explained. "In a dual meet, you get 4 points for first, 3 for second and 1 for a third-place finish, so even if we have someone come in first, but the other team takes second and third that pretty much negates our firstplace finish."
Emmert, however, sees his team coming together at the right time and feels that they will be competitive at the state level. He credits the girls' attitudes as their biggest strength this season.
"The girls come out and have a good time. They don't take it too seriously, but they have fun and learn some valuable lessons," he said. "Their support for each other is really what sets us apart."
He credits islander Kelsey Wiggin, a senior, for keeping the team loose and in good spirits.
"Wiggin is our leader for morale. She does the team cheer before and after the meets. She really keeps everyone happy and she is a real contributor," he said.
Junior Kelly Wooley, a Jamestown resident and newcomer to the team, brings some needed depth the team in the breaststroke and IM relay.
"She just moved here this year and it was a shock, she was really able to fill in some depth for us," Emmert explains. "She swam a really great 100 breaststroke on Sunday. I am very excited to have her and I am excited to see what she can do at states."
A walk-on to the team last year, islander Shannon Muldoon also gets praise from the coach for her performance in the 220-meter relay this season.
"Shannon is really a great athlete and she is a definite inspiration to the girls on the team," Emmert notes.
First year swimmers and Jamestown residents, Emmy Lutes and Kendra Davis joined the team as a way to stay in shape, but both ended up having a great time and learning a lot.
Lutes, who swims the 50 and 100 meter freestyles, says her primary goal this year is to improve her breaststroke.
"There is not a lot of pressure and we get a lot done. I have really had a lot of fun," Lutes said.
Davis swims the 50 meter butterfly and 50 meter freestyle and said that while the freestyle is her best stroke, she prefers the butterfly.
"Right now I am working on the butterfly," Davis explained. "I am working on technique and not speed."
She hopes that her diligence will allow her to continue her swimming career into college.
"Sometimes I swim in exhibitions. It doesn't earn any points, but it does let the coaches see that I am working on improving," Davis concluded.
Emmert believes that his biggest strength is his team, but his team credits his coaching style for their success.
"Everyone loves him and all the coaches. At the meet on Sunday there were some coaches who were yelling at their kids while they were in the pool. I guess they were not happy with the way they were performing," Wooley explained. "But with our coaches, they don't do that. Even if we are not doing well, we know that they are not going to yell at us."
The coach takes the compliment in stride, but once again points to his team.
"That is nice to hear," he said. "I just believe that I can help them prepare before the meet, they can practice and after they swim I can maybe talk to them a bit, but once they are in the pool it all comes from within."
The Skippers take on LaSalle at 7 p.m. tonight at the Fox Point Boys and girls club.