Tigers swim and dive team looks competitive as large roster makes push for state | SummitDaily.com

Tigers swim and dive team looks competitive as large roster makes push for state

Members of the Summit High School swim and dive team pose for a photo during a practice last season at the school.
Jenny Wischmeyer/Courtesy photo

At the end of the swim and dive season last year, the main storyline for the Summit High School girls swim and dive team was that it was going to be ultra competitive next season.

That narrative came to fruition after the 3A state swimming championships earlier this year in March. The Tigers had qualified their 400-yard freestyle relay team of Abby Anderson, Taylor Lee, Ashley Leidel and Karlyn Frazier. However, Leidel and Frazier had to be replaced with Marin Ward and Pelham Wagenseil after being forced to quarantine.

The team ended up placing 20th at the 3A state championships. As the Tigers wrapped up their 2020-21 swim and dive season, there was a sense that making the relay next year was going to be an even bigger challenge with at least six girls who could fill any of the four spots.

What the Tigers didn’t anticipate was that 50 girls would come out to participate, making the team even more competitive going into the new season.

Head coach Jenny Wischmeyer, who is entering her 22nd year of coaching and 13th as head coach, said the team is mostly made up of swimmers but is by far the largest team she has ever coached, bringing the promise of qualifying more girls to the state meet.

“We had a good first week of practice, and it was great to see so many girls excited to be a part of the swim team,” Wischmeyer said.

In order to properly manage such a large roster, Wischmeyer has added two additional people to her coaching staff that consisted of her and Annie Freeman last year.

Wischmeyer added Hannah Anderson, who is a Tigers swim and dive team alum, as an assistant coach alongside Fred Skillern as the dive coach.

Wischmeyer said she is already seeing a competitive atmosphere in the early season practices.

Although making it to state will be competitive, the state qualifying standards will go back to normal after having restricted standards last year due to COVID-19.

“Last year, they only took the top 20 of every event, when in a normal year there is a time standard you have to make,” Wischmeyer said. “I had a ton of girls technically qualify last year but will just need to requalify this year.”

The Tigers will lean on both upperclassmen and underclassmen to lead them in the water as the team makes its push to have the most state qualifiers as possible.

Seniors Abby Anderson and Lily Airey will serve as the team’s two captains. Anderson, who is the younger sister to assistant coach Hannah Anderson, is one of the team’s most talented swimmers and barely missed the cutoff to qualify to state in an individual event last year.

“She’s really motivated to make it this year,” Wischmeyer said.

The Tigers will also rely on a new swimmer who moved from Colorado Springs, junior Allie Koonce, who will provide depth in the breaststroke discipline for the Tigers.

Wischmeyer was also quick to note that talented freshmen Izzy Rowe and Aila Harmala will have a chance to make their mark on the team as they debut as Summit High School swimmers.

The Tigers currently have six divers on their roster, most notably senior Stephanie Horvath.

“She was a gymnast until last year, and I think she can go really far with our new coach,” Wischmeyer said. “She is very motivated.”

In the next few weeks, the Tigers will work on their fundamentals in the water and get in a good aerobic endurance base before their first competition Dec. 2.

The Tigers will keep up the intensity in the pool all season long until backing off around the end of season in order to hopefully have a good amount of Tigers perform well at the state meet.

Tigers girls swim and dive schedule

• Dec. 2: Meet at Glenwood Springs, 4:40 p.m.

• Dec. 4: Relay at CMU, Grand Junction, 10:30 a.m.

• Dec. 11: Meet at Gunnison, 10:30 a.m.

• Dec. 17: Home invite, 4 p.m.

• Jan. 6: Dive meet at Gunnison, 2:30 p.m.

• Jan. 11: Home dual meet, 5 p.m.

• Jan. 15: Invite at CMU, Grand Junction, 10:30 a.m.

• Jan. 22: Home invite, 10:30 a.m.

• Jan. 28: Invite at Aspen, 5:30 p.m.

• Feb. 4: Western Slope League at CMU, 5:30 p.m.

• Feb. 5: Western Slope League at CMU, 10:30 a.m.

• Feb. 11-12: 3A State finals

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