GF prep swimming preview: Youth expected to contribute
Last season's Grand Forks boys' swim team featured a lot of young talent. Last season's talent will be at the center of this season's team. Eight of the nine KnightRider swimmers that competed in the state meet at Minot last season are back on th...
Last season's Grand Forks boys' swim team featured a lot of young talent. Last season's talent will be at the center of this season's team.
Eight of the nine KnightRider swimmers that competed in the state meet at Minot last season are back on the team.
Added to this nucleus is a promising group of middle school swimmers that has Grand Forks coach Brent Newman optimistic that his team can improve on its last-place finish at state.
"As long as our guys keep improving like they did last year, that's what matters," Newman said.
Senior captains Beau Simon and Tyler Newman are examples of how the KnightRiders develop their talent. Both have been with the team since middle school. Simon is coming off top-10 finishes in the 500 and 200 meter freestyle, while Newman will be a factor in the sprint events.
It's not just the seniors that will have a stake in the team's success this year.
Sophomore Isaac Loegering, named to last season's all-state first team, will be defending his state title in the 50-meter freestyle.
"What Isaac did last year is impressive, especially as a freshman," said the Grand Forks coach. "It's not often you see a kid that young finish that well in a sprint."
Another team captain, junior Jonathan Schindler, is a strong butterfly swimmer looking to improve upon his state-qualifying time of 1 minute, 3.06 seconds in the 100 meters.
Even though the experienced swimmers can be difference-makers, some of the new arrivals will look to make a name for themselves this season, too.
Seventh-grade diver Nick McCowan is expected to make the most immediate impact. Grand Forks did not have a diver in the state tournament last season, which didn't help the team's point total.
"It's been a struggle for some reason for us to keep divers in our program," Newman said. "Hopefully he (McCowan) will be around for a while."
Alex Heide and Ben Schleicher are also seventh graders that may make an impact.
"These guys have been swimming on the club teams, and they have a lot of potential," Newman said. "We're going to work hard to see what events they will fit in the best."
The KnightRiders will be in action Saturday at Fargo North High School.
Jeffries reports on sports. Reach him at (701) 780-1268; (800) 477-6572, ext. 268.