The Battle Ground High School girls swim team is gearing up for its district tournament on Oct. 28 and Oct. 29.
Coach Trisha Hicks is doing what she can to prepare the eight-person team.
“(We’re doing) pretty good,” Hicks said. “We actually have one more swimmer than we did last year.”
Hicks said it’s been difficult to get more swimmers on the team. Part of the reason, according to Hicks, is because some people are not aware of the swimming program at Battle Ground High School. The team aims to make up for its small roster through its performances at meets.
“It’s nice that we have eight because we can split our teams into relays. We’re starting to get some depth,” she said. “When we look at our dual meets or when we compete against other teams … I don’t set a lineup so that we can win every dual meet, because it’s kind of hard with just eight swimmers.”
She said every swimmer has set a personal record since they started the season. For example, Emma Johnson has set personal records in events like the 50 freestyle, the 100 freestyle and the 100 fly.
“To have a person that’s never swam before last year to compete and then have such a huge improvement, she’s swimming double her distance (and) improved all her personal times thus far,” Hicks said.
There’s also senior Nina Uchtmann, who Hicks said won districts last year in the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke. Uchtmann went on to finish in 15th place in the 200 freestyle at the state tournament and 16th in the 100 backstroke.
“I’m looking for some great swims from her coming districts,” she said. “Hopefully we can have a group go to state like a relay or more individuals qualify for state.”
The small team does present a challenge since larger teams typically have the ability to rack up more points.
“With the small team that we have, we do really well, but we just don’t have the depth to score the points so that we are more competitive with the other teams,” Hicks said. “If I look at my eight swimmers, I’m extremely happy with their progress and how we swim, but if we had another 10 swimmers, I think we’re going to make our mark with Battle Ground High School if we can get more people coming out and trying for the swim team.”
Hicks said she has tried to get the word out through events at the school like freshmen orientation or parent nights.
“I still hear people say, and there’s even some teachers saying, ‘oh, I didn’t know we had a swim team.’ I still think it needs to be known that we have a swim team, a boys and girls swim team,” Hicks said. “We have the right motivation and the right mindset. I just need more swimmers for those empty spots.”
The team currently has nine wins and seven losses.
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