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By LARRY GOFFINET
TELL CITY—With 23 members, Tell City has its biggest girls swim team in the squad’s 33-year history. Now it’s up to new coach Angie Spinner to sort them out.
Spinner said Tuesday she will be able to put three girls in every event, but she’s not sure who will swim what yet.
Charissa Lahee, one of four seniors on the team, is the only PAC champion returning as she took the 100-yard freestyle in 58.78 seconds last year. She was also on the winning 200 medley relay team.
“Charissa should lead our 50 and 100 free again,” said Spinner.
Derrian Zabel could join her in both again. Other candidates for those spots include Madison Schuetter, Sydney Goffinet and Cassie Bryant.
Loren Braunecker and Bailey Powell return in the 200 and 500 freestyles. Braunecker placed third in the conference in both last year. Powell was fourth in the 500 and fifth in the 200.
Elizabeth Bishop, a junior who swam two years ago, and freshman Sydney Burton are among candidates to join them.
With the depth at those spots, Spinner said the team’s strongest events now are “anything freestyle. We’re working on some other strokes, but we’ve only been in the water two weeks.”
The Marksmen don’t have as much experience in other events. But Spinner noted that Bishop and Brown have swum the 100 butterfly in the past (Brown placed fourth in the junior high PAC meet last March).
Those two and Kassie Peter and Samantha Allen could swim the 200 individual medley.
Peter, a sophomore, has experience in the 100 breaststroke and Brown “can swim” the 100 backstroke, Spinner said.
Taylor McFarling, Sierra Alvarez and Haley Lamb have led the divers in practice so far.
Lahee and Braunecker are the only returnees from last year’s Marksman relay teams.
Spinner said she will experiment with many combinations on the relays early.
“During the season I’ll mix it up the first couple of meets to see who my strong swimmers are and where I need to put them for the PAC and the sectional—those are the two main things we’re working for.”
Spinner coached Heritage Hills to the PAC title last spring (the Patriots nipped Tell City by 15 points). She was a teacher’s assistant at Heritage Hills but got her teaching license last January and switched schools last summer because Tell City had a teaching opening in her field and Heritage Hills did not.
She noted that Heritage Hills graduated four “very strong swimmers” last spring but had 33 on the team last year. So she’s not sure who the PAC favorite is this year. “At this point it’s almost anybody’s game.”
Tell City won sectional titles each of the four previous times it had at least 21 girls on its team (22 in 1987 and 21 in 1994, ’95 and ’98).
But with the Marksmen’s lack of experience (only four letter winners return from last year), no one is ready to predict such success for this year’s team yet.
“If you ask me about the sectional around PAC time, I’ll have a better idea,” said Spinner. “Right now they’re all trying to fight for spots in meets.”