The learning curve here comes with goggles, swim caps and a dose of chlorine.
Bolstered by a strong corps of veterans and quick-learning newbies, Sequim High's swim squad posted a pair of wins to open their 2008 season.
The Wolves splashed an outnumbered Bremerton team Sept. 18, knocking off the Knights 110-58. Sequim earned first-place finishes in nine of 11 events.
"It might have been a bit more fair if Bremerton had more swimmers," Sequim coach Linda Bingler said, "but they have a small team of 12 this year and only 11 swam. They have some fast swimmers, though."
The Wolves posted district meet-qualifying swims in seven events, including Sarah Keltonic in both 200 IM (2:54.34) and 100 breaststroke (1:29.28). Rachel Hardy locked up her third individual district-qualifying time of the season, racing to a first-place finish in the 200 free (2:24.02), while Gianna Vennetti was tops in the 100 fly with a district mark of 1:11.55.
All three Sequim relays made the district meet standard.
Bingler said she was impressed with strong swims from new swimmers including Brooke Ansotegui in the 200 free (3:31.46, just 30 seconds behind veteran swimmers), Karlee Johnston in the 100 free (1:29.05) and Sequim's No. 2 relay team in the 200 free (Ansotegui, Johnston, Shelby Heyer and Billie-Jane Stone).
"For them to finish only 30 seconds behind the lead relay is an admirable beginning," Bingler said.
The Sequim coach mused that about half of her newer swimmers could be district meet-ready by the end of the season.
The Wolves got off to a good start two days earlier, beating Steilacoom 100-79 in their season-opener.
"Although there were a few that struggled with the newness of the competitive scene, overall our team swam very well," Bingler said. "For the new swimmers and divers, it has been a steep learning curve and some of them weren't quite ready yet."
Sequim had seven district meet-qualifying swims in this meet as well, including two individual swims each from Hardy (50 free, 100 free) and Vennetti (200 IM, 100 breaststroke). Hardy's time in the 50 free (27.82) is only about one second off a state 2A standard.
Keltonic added a strong performance in the 100 fly with a 1:20.57 mark.
Sequim's 200 medley and 200 free relay teams are headed to districts, punching tickets for Rachel Hughes, Kelsey DeWald and Louise Showers.
The Wolves (2-0) host Klahowya Sept. 25 and face Port Townsend away on Oct. 2.