Pioneers will rely on young swimmers to continue their success

The 2015 season for girls swimming and diving is about to begin, and the Hill-Murray Pioneers are feeling optimistic after finishing 6-1 a year ago and second behind newcomer Hastings in their bid for the Metro East Conference title.

"We will be a strong team this year based on the number of returning strong, junior competitors we have," stated Hill-Murray head coach Susan Lee.

"However, we will have to shore up our depth at several positions if we are going to be a factor in the conference this season.

Lee added, "Our big accomplishment last year was that we won the Section 4A championship and went to the 'State.'"

Leading the Pioneers will be four captains — seniors Sophia Peterson and Miranda Meyer, along with juniors Madison Berg and Lauren Forsythe.

Peterson is a distance freestyle swimmer. Meyer is a freestyle sprinter, while Berg will compete in the butterfly and sprint freestyle events. Forsythe is a specialist at the freestyle and backstroke.

Bolstering the captains will be junior Sophia Daley (sprints and freestyle), along with sophomores Eva Potvin (individual medley, butterfly and breaststroke) and Amelia Berg (IM and breaststroke).

Eighth-graders hoping to bring the Pioneers points will be Gabi Baldwin (backstroke, IM and freestyle) and Catherine Nolde (distance and freestyle).

Assisting head coach Lee will be Jan Wasowicz and Nina Koller, along with diving coach Megan Oelze.

It didn't take Lee long to point the finger at the Hastings Raiders as the favorites to repeat as the conference leader at the end of the season.

 Hill-Murray opens the season with the conference relays at The Grove in Inver Grove Heights Sept. 3, beginning at 6 p.m. The Pioneers do not have a pool to host swim meets.

The 2015 Hill-Murray Swimming and Diving Schedule: (meets, unless otherwise noted, will begin at 6 p.m.) Sept. 3 MEC Relays at The Grove; Sept. 10 Simley at The Grove; 10 a.m. Sept. 12 four-school invitational at the University of St. Thomas; 6:30 p.m. Sept. 17 at Henry Sibley; noon Sept. 19 12-team invitational at St. Catherine's University; 6:30 p.m. Sept. 24 at Hastings; Oct. 1 at South St. Paul; Oct. 8 at Tartan (Skyview Middle School); Oct. 13, Mahtomedi at Skyview Middle School; Oct. 22 at North (Maplewood Middle School); 9 a.m. Oct. 24 eight-team invitational at Buffalo; 4 p.m. Oct. 29 MEC Championships at Tartan; and 11 a.m. Oct. 31 10-school invitational at Hastings.

The Section 4A tournament will be held at Richfield Middle School Nov. 11, beginning with diving at 9 a.m. The swimming finals will begin at 1:30 p.m.

—Wally Wakefield

 

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