Aug 16, 2012 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff WriterIt's back to the pool in the near-dawn hours for the 16 girls who started their practices for Riverton High School Monday at the Riverton Aquatic Center.
Led by coach Chad Fallin who begins his seventh season as the team's head coach, the RHS Lady Wolverines are working toward their first weekend of meets next Friday, Aug. 24, in Casper for the Casper Relays and in Gillette the following day for the Gillette Pentathlon.
The Lady Wolverines will be led by their two seniors , Taylor Hill and Karissa Kister.
"We have kind of a mix of sophomores and juniors, and with those freshmen added in there, it has really added to our team," Fallin said.
Fallin is not yet certain what will be his team's strength this season.
"I've been trying to think about that this week, and I don't have a good answer for that. We are looking and will have to redirect some people. One of the strengths potentially could be our IM relay. This year we will have Jordan Settlemire on that relay working hard in the butterfly. I see some potential there, but where it shakes out, I'm not exactly sure," Fallin said.
The Lady Wolverines worked in the summer with open swims.
"That was really great. We just worked on technique. We did a lot of drill that has translated well to this week. We're really drilling stroke work a lot to clean up those bad habits that sneak back into strokes," Fallin said.
Returning with Fallin as an assistant coach is David Toppenberg, who will oversee the Lady Wolverine divers. New to the staff this year is former RHS swimmer Sarah Hughes, who coached Riverton Middle School swimmers last year.
"I started coaching with Sarah my first two years at Riverton. It is really nice to have her back. She will be a good asset to the team and is a good stroke technician and is a good motivator," Fallin said.
As for the first weekend of competition, the Lady Wolverines will be swimming in meets that don't follow the usual high school format.
"That (Casper Relays) is a really great meet. We can shake out all the cobwebs. It's not any pressure at all.
That is a really fun way to get started so that the next day, when we go to Gillette for the pentathlon, some of the swimmers that have some good endurance already and have some natural ability, they will be able to get right to it in that pentathlon," Fallin said. A pentathlon-style meet has swimmers competing in five events at the varsity level, including the 100-yard butterfly, 100-yard backstroke, 100-yard breaststroke, 100-yard freestyle and 50-yard freestyle. Fallin expects Settlemire, Echo Parker, Karissa Kister and Kassi Kister to be his top swimmers early this year. Throughout the season, the swimmers will be attempting to hit state qualifying standards for the Wyoming high school state swim meet Oct. 25-17 in Gillette.
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