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Swimmers return with a ton of talent

Row 1: (left to right) Emily Gilmore, Grace Galbraith, Maryann Stockard, Amanda DelaPaz, Capt. Claire Patrell, Janine Huelsman, Kelsey Cronk, Brittany Basela, Megan Anderson Row 2: (left to right) Melissa Skelton, Kati Flanagan, Kaitlyn Barber, Kayla Pollard, Jade Casadei, Jasmine Vickery, Brooklyn Allen, Courtney Lavender, Haley Kornburger, Elizabeth Wilkins Row 3: (from left to right) Coach Lopez, Coach Walker, Capt. Anna Daves, Capt. Sarah Skelton, Alexis Swindlehurst, Caitlyn Wroblewski, Miranda Murphy, Capt. Jenna Mallard, Coach Rank, Coach Amabile. Not pictured: Coach Miller, Rose Crane, Autumn Desmarais, Casey Keils, Sammi Kurk, Ashley Miller, Jamie Miller, Laura Zorle (click for larger version)
September 01, 2010 - This season presents new challenges for Varsity Girls Swimming Coach Jackie Boswell, but she is ready to take them with a team that brings back a ton of talent.

"So far the team looks great," said Boswell.

The Wildcats bring 32 athletes to the pool, five divers and 27 swimmers. Out of the swimmers, only three do not have any experience.

So expectations will be high for Boswell and the Wildcats.

"My expectations for the team are to rewrite the record board, make it to the state meet and have a strong showing in the Oakland Activities Association," she said.

One of the challenges facing the Wildcats will be facing a new team each and every week. However, Boswell is confident that the girls will be ready to go when the season begins. "The girls know that the OAA is a tougher league, but I am working on their confidence because I know we can be one of the top teams in the blue group," Boswell added.

She will be looking for her captains, seniors Anna Daves, Jenna Mallard and Sarah Skelton and junior Claire Patrell to provide the necessary leadership and encouragement. "All of our captains swim in the top two lanes and lead by example," Boswell said. "They are well respected by the girls and have really taken charge this year."

Boswell added that she is also excited about the strong incoming freshman class, which includes swimmers that have been competing outside of the season in other clubs in the area and on the Oxford rec department team.

Some of those freshman include Kati Flanagan, Haley Kornburger and Elizabeth Wilkins. Boswell is also counting on the other returning swimmers to step their game up as well in order to take the Wildcats to the next level. "Over the last three weeks, the girls have really been working hard to learn stroke technique and build their endurance and speed," Boswell said.

According to Boswell, the greatest strength of the team is how hard they push each other. The Wildcats open the season against Notre Dame Prep on Aug. 31 at Rochester High School.

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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