Inaugural girls swim season underway

Bryan Veginski

Washington ushered in a new era with the beginning of the girls swimming season.

Training has been rigorous for the first-year program, which also has taken part in three meets.

“The girls are tired, but they’re still working hard,” WCHS head coach Shane Morrison said.

The Lady Panthers are working to close the gap between their top swimmers and the rest of the squad.

They are confident by the end of the season their depth will improve.

Junior Caitlyn Scheirer, senior co-captains Valerie Wetterauer and Paige Blumenshine and Lauren Dwyer, a freshman, are among the top swimmers thus far.

The rest of the roster includes: seniors — Ana Luiza Ayres, Katie Hamilton and Emma Tully; juniors — Kyla Kirby and Shelby Kuchenbecker; sophomores — Sarah Bivens, Katie Cooper, Kristara DeWitt and Rachael Urban; and freshmen — Destiny Buckley, Samantha Buckley and Megan Houghton.

The 200 individual medley, 100 butterfly and 400 freestyle relay are some of the girls’ best events this fall.

Washington’s first action at meet is at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow vs. Olympia at the Five Points Washington Aquatic Center.

Morrison said he is excited about the initial home competition against the Spartans, but in hoping for a smooth meet is anxious to see how the timing system works.

The Lady Panthers already are making progress from the beginning of the year.

“Everyone keeps getting better,” Morrison said.

One of the biggest hurdles has been the difference in the distance to which most girls are accustomed.

Most of the races offered are longer than those on the summer swim-team circuit.

Morrison said he is sticking to his master plan, which includes getting a couple athletes and maybe a relay to the state final in year one.

In its latest meet, Washington fell Thursday to Pekin, 105-75.

Three Lady Panthers won individual events and two relays captured first place against the Dragons.

Scheirer was victorious in the 200 IM and 100 fly in times of 2:17.56 and 1:02.28, respectively.

Dwyer recorded the fastest time in the 100 breaststroke with a 1:19.83.

The 200 medley relay — consisting of Tully, Dwyer, Scheirer and Bivens — was the fastest in 2:12.14.

Scheirer, Wetterauer, Blumenshine and Dwyer were winners in the 400 free relay in 4:06.99.

After tomorrow, Washington is off until a Sept. 27 appearance in the Bloomington Invitational.