The math is pretty simple: six veteran swimmers, 15 rookies.
"This will be a building year," says Sequim coach Linda Bingler, now in her 11th year as the Wolves’ head coach. "But I hope we will have a few state qualifiers."
If that happens, consider this a youth movement. The Wolves’ returnees include four sophomores and just two seniors.
But Bingler and the Wolves went through something similar last season after a big senior class came through, and Sequim still managed a 4-3 league mark (5-4 overall) and four top-10 swims at the class 2A state meet.
Among the strong contingent of sophomore swimmers is Rachel Hardy, a freestyle and backstroke specialist who finished 13th at state in the 50 free last fall and helped Sequim’s 200 free relay get to the medal stand.
Gianna Vennetti, another sophomore, had strong swims in the 100 fly and 100 breaststroke at districts last year and figures
to be part of a tough Wolves
Bingler also has high hopes for Rachel Hughes, a raw athlete with little swimming experience as a freshman last year.
"This year she is in the fast lane and eager to stay in that lane," Bingler says. "This is unusual with newer swimmers."
Add to the mix sophomore Colsie Froerer – plus seniors Louise Showers and Sarah Stuart-Keltonic, both of whom competed in a state relay team last fall – and the Wolves may not be rebuilding for long.
That leaves 15 new athletes Bingler has to get up to speed.
"It will be a challenge to have them all ready for top competition at districts in 10 short weeks," she says.
Sequim’s coach expects North Kitsap and Port Angeles to be Sequim’s top challengers, though she also has powerhouse Bainbridge in a nonleague contest Oct. 14.
Sequim finished second at the West Central District meet last season, well behind champion Fife.
Sequim High School girls swimming
• 2007 record: 5-4 (4-3 in Olympic League); tied for 19th at state 2A meet, qualifying two individuals and three relays
• Coaches: Linda Bingler (head coach, 11th year), Susan Craig (diving), Chuck Lamb (assistant)
• Top returners: Rachel Hardy, Gianna Vennetti, Rachel Hughes, Colsie Froerer, Louise Showers, Sarah Stuart-Keltonic
• Top newcomers: Kelsy DeWald, Brooke Ansotegui, Billie-Jane Stone
• Outlook: A shortage of experienced swimmers handicaps the Wolves this season, but coach Bingler has been through this before. Wins may be at a premium but two or three swimmers have a chance at breakout seasons – and tickets to state.
Sept. 11 vs. Kingston, Oct. 9 vs. Port Angeles; Oct. 14 at Bainbridge; Oct. 23 vs. North Kitsap