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The Marshfield girls swimming team has a host of returning athletes
By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD — A large and talented group of returning athletes has the Marshfield girls swimming team ready to move up in the Wisconsin Valley Conference.
A total of 17 swimmers, including seven seniors, are back for the Tigers, who finished sixth out of seven teams in the Valley a year ago.
One of the seniors, Elizabeth Holbrook, had Marshfield’s top two finishes at the WIAA Division 1 sectional last fall, taking fourth in the 200-yard individual medley and sixth in the 100 breaststroke. She also had the Tigers’ top performance at the WVC Meet, taking third in the 100 breaststroke.
Junior Sophie Koehn had a pair of top-10 finishes at both the sectional and conference meets, showing her wares in the 100 backstroke and 200 freestyle.
April Read, Malina Barker, Kaycee Irwin, Gracia Sandok, Madi Hall, and Grace Hilbelink round out the group of seniors, while Elise Ashby, Valerie Kushnir, Elizabeth Lecker, Morgan Nordbeck, Erika Roeglin, and Megan Donahue are the rest of the junior class that is back for its third year on the team.
That strong group of experienced swimmers has second-year head coach Mary Holbrook excited for the new season.
“Our first expectation for the season would be for our returning swimmers’ times to go down,” Mary Holbrook said. “We would also like to place in the top three for conference. After that we would like to have a few of our girls place at sectionals, possibly getting closer to state. We have a great bunch of girls, and I really think we can do quite well this season.”
Sophomores Emily Hopperdietzel, Ryenne Zee, and McKenzie Wilsman are returning sophomores who all got their feet wet for the Tigers as freshmen a year ago.
Junior Olivia Corrigall and sophomore Mary Ann Stangl are newcomers to the team along with freshmen Cassie Kolstad, Ana Paape, Maggie Stangl, Riya Bolander, Hannah Berg, and Ariel Fernandez.
The Tigers swam in two relay meets on Aug. 19 and 20 at Tomahawk and Menomonie, giving a chance for the coaching staff to evaluate the newcomers as well as take stock in where the returning swimmers are early in the season.
Marshfield had a nonconference meet Thursday against Onalaska/Holmen/Aquinas to open its home schedule and will travel to Rhinelander for a meet on Sept. 10 before starting its Valley season at defending champion D.C. Everest on Sept. 15.
“The girls are doing great,” Mary Holbrook said. “The first two meets were relay meets, and it helped us determine what the newer girls would be good in and tell us how much we have to work on with the returning girls. I think if the girls continue to work hard, we should have some of them drop some time, which is one of our major goals.”
Paul Lecker is publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com, a contributor to Hub City Times Sports. You can reach him by email at email@example.com.