Numbers keep going up for CEC swim teamThe young Cloquet-Esko-Carlton girls swim team had its first home meet of the season Tuesday night at Herb Drew Pool and even though the team lost to Two Harbors-Silver Bay by a 62-32 score, the program is growing in size and ability.
By: Jeff Papas, Pine Journal
The young Cloquet-Esko-Carlton girls swim team had its first home meet of the season Tuesday night at Herb Drew Pool and even though the team lost to Two Harbors-Silver Bay by a 62-32 score, the program is growing in size and ability.
“It went all right,” Coach Stacia Grayson said. “We had some good swims from our girls. Overall we have 32 girls out for the team, which is up quite a bit from last year and the previous year. We’re really young, however.”
CEC is hampered by the fact that diving isn’t allowed at the Herb Drew Pool and the team has no divers in any event.
“It’s hard to win a meet without divers,” Grayson said. “You lose 11 points in the team score right off the top. Right now, though, we are working on building the swim program.”
And how. Two years ago, when Grayson took over the program, the team had 14 swimmers. Last year, the ’Jacks fielded a squad of 24, and this year the numbers are even better.
“I was kind of shocked at the turnout,” Grayson said. “It’s been fun, but a bit overwhelming at times. It’s a good thing for the program, though,
especially since the girls coming out are so young.”
Grayson said most of the new swimmers are at middle school age, with a few freshmen and one sophomore coming out for the sport for the first time.
“Half the team is seventh- and eighth-graders,” she said. “We all practice together and we mix up the meets because the varsity team is smaller. The junior varsity girls get pulled up to the varsity sometimes and that is good for them.”
Team strengths include the 200 freestyle relay.
“We have a very strong team there right now,” Grayson said. “We have some good sprinters, and other girls are getting used to competitive swimming and having fun.”
Relay members are junior Alison Denman, freshman Lexus Wysocki, junior Kristina Erickson and senior Kayla Whipple.
Grayson had special praise for Wysocki, who qualified for sections last year as an eighth-grader and has already qualified this year in three different events.
“Lexus has qualified in the 100 backstroke, the 50 freestyle and the 100 freestyle,” Grayson said. “She’s also part of the 200 free relay and hopefully she can qualify in other events, too.”
Team captains are Whipple and fellow senior Jolynne Denman.
“Kayla has been a strong sprinter over the last three years,” Grayson said. “Jolynne is a distance swimmer who qualified in the 500 freestyle for sections last year and hopefully will get the 200 and 500 this year.”
The team has had a slow start to its season due to the pump being broken at its home pool at the start of the year.
“That’s fixed now, and we’re getting in regular practices,” Grayson said. “We have a few girls who came from the North Shore swim program so they have had competitive meets before. The girls are doing great, but we are small and it’s hard to be competitive just yet.”
The team has a meet at 5 p.m. Thursday in Proctor against Proctor-
Hermantown, with the next home meet at the middle school pool scheduled for Sept. 29 against Duluth Denfeld.