CEC swimmers gear up for playoffsSaturday, Stacia Grayson watched as her Cloquet-Esko-Carlton girls swim team got pummeled by schools twice their size at the Greyhound Invite in Duluth.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
Saturday, Stacia Grayson watched as her Cloquet-Esko-Carlton girls swim team got pummeled by schools twice their size at the Greyhound Invite in Duluth.
She also watched them grow, as some girls set personal bests.
Although the Lumberjacks placed sixth out of the seven teams and witnessed swim powers Prior Lakes, Faribault and Duluth East claim the top-three slots, she knows her CEC swim enthusiasts did their best.
“They brought in some tough competition,” said Grayson. “We swam OK, and even had some personal-records.”
CEC sophomore Alison Denman recorded a personal-best in the 200-yard individual medley, while Grayson noted a laundry list of youngsters also set personal records.
The ’Jacks 400-yard freestyle relay team did best Saturday, as the squad featuring Denman, juniors Whitney Wysocki and Kayla Whipple and sophomore Kristina Erickson finished fifth.
CEC’s 200-yard freestyle squad – their strongest team all fall – of Denman, Whipple, Erickson and senior captain Aimee Goldschmidt took sixth place.
The 200-yard freestyle relay squad has anchored the ’Jacks throughout the season, finishing near the top of the charts nightly and even being competitive with the much larger schools CEC faces.
“We really have a strong team,” said Grayson of their freestyle quartet. “The girls really get excited for it. It’d be nice if we place high at conference.”
CEC will head to Superior for the Lake Superior Conference meet at 11 a.m. Saturday. Next, they’ll make their way to sections in Grand Rapids on Nov. 11, while on Nov. 6, their teammates in grades 7-9 will race at the Little Giants Meet at Mesabi East.
“That’s a nice event for them,” said Grayson of the Little Giants Meet. “I think we’ll get some good swims up there. It’ll be a nice team booster for us.”
After all, CEC’s lone victory this fall came from the junior varsity against Superior at home. It was their first victory since last year’s season opener. Grayson mentioned that of their roughly 10 new swimmers this year, a majority of them are quite young – and talented.
“The young ones have been dropping times like crazy,” said Grayson. “It’s easier to drop times when you’re younger, but for some, they’re new to everything and have really stepped up. That’s really nice to see.”
Pacing the JV crew for CEC has been a trio of eighth-graders – Emily Acers, Lexus Wysocki and Rachel Pollema – as well as seventh-grade speedster Anna Wodney.
“The future of this program looks good,” Grayson said. “We’re young. And it’s taken some time, but it’s really nice to see all of the girls work hard and continue to improve their times.”