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Wolves offer plenty of talent, depth for new coach
He needs just one glance at the lineup card.
That is enough for South Kitsap girls swimming coach Cliff Rousell to see a well-balanced program. After all, there is a striking distribution of freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors among the 41 girls who turned out.
“We’ve got a great mixture,” he said. “I think it’s a terrific sign for the continuity of our program. I don’t think there’s anyone in the pool who’s feeling left out.”
Rousell, whose daughter, Madison, won four individual state championships from 2004-06 at South and now is a senior at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and son Taylor, is a freshman at Adams State in Colorado, replaced longtime coach Dennis Anderson.
“It’s big shoes to fill,” he said. “Dennis is one of the greats — not only as a swim coach, but as a dive coach.”
Rousell, who also will coach the boys team, is straightforward when it comes to letting his swimmers and divers know what his expectations are for them.
“If you’re out on the sidewalk when the bus is supposed to leave, you’re going to stay on the sidewalk,” he said. “You can’t enjoy success without a lot of hard work. They’ve bought into that all the way.”
The Wolves return plenty from last season, including junior Nicole Hinely.
She finished 11th in the 200-yard freestyle in 1 minute, 56.33 seconds and 10th in the butterfly (58.12) at last year’s state meet at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.
“She’s really good in the butterfly and great in distance,” Rousell said. “I expect a lot of good things from Nicole. She’s in better shape than last year.”
Hinely also was part of the 200-freestyle relay team that finished sixth at state along with seniors Ashlee Becker and Kelsey Bagley. Rachel Wester was the only member of the quartet to graduate.
Senior Angela Pearson also returns after advancing to the state meet in the 500 freestyle the last two years.
“Angela is one of our mainstays in the distance, freestyle events,” Rousell said. “But she’s also very strong in the backstroke and is a pretty good breaststroker, too. She’s multitalented and we certainly want to take advantage of that.”
Bagley, who is a captain this season along with classmate Hannah Straavaldson, made her first state appearance in the 100 freestyle last season. Rousell said her stroke in that event particularly is strong.
Becker is another state returner in an individual event. She advanced in the 100 butterfly for the first time in 2009.
“Her breaststroke and butterfly are going to do a lot for the team,” Rousell said.
Rousell said he hopes to take at least 12 swimmers and divers to state between individual and relay events. Among the young competitors, he said sophomore Jessica Carter is one to watch. Carter swims the 50 and 100 freestyle.
“Jessica Carter has really come on strong,” Rousell said. “I believe she might have a good chance of getting some state cuts this year.”
Rousell also is excited about the progress divers — junior Hannah Luer, senior Holly Vertefeuille and sophomore Hannah Waterman — have made under new coach Cory Ferencik.
“He’s bringing the divers a lot further along in their potential,” Rousell said. “I’m hopeful we can see a lot more scoring for them deeper into the season.”
SK Swimming at a Glance
• Coach: Cliff Rousell, first season.
• Key returners: Kelsey Bagley, 50 and 100 freestyle, sr.; Ashlee Becker, 100 breaststroke and 100 butterfly, sr.; Jessica Carter, 50 and 100 freestyle, so.; Joy Densmore, 50 and 100 freestyle, sr.; Nicole Hinely, 100 butterfly and 200 freestyle, jr.; Hannah Luer, diving, jr.; Angela Pearson, 200 and 500 freestyle, sr.; Johanna Steinbrink, 100 breaststroke and 200 individual medley, sr.; Hannah Straavaldson, 200 individual medley and 500 freestyle, sr.; Kylie Topham, 100 backstroke, jr.; Svea Van Parys, 200 freestyle, so.; Holly Vertefeuille, diving, sr.; Hannah Waterman, diving, so.
• Key departures: Danika Barringer, 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay, graduated; Rachel Wester, 50 and 100 freestyle and 200 and 400 freestyle relay, graduated.
n Top newcomers: Heidi Edgecomb 100 butterfly, fr.; Kaya Fletcher, 100 breaststroke, so.; Sarah Geiger, 100 backstroke, so.; Madison Kehl, 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke, so.
2010 South Kitsap Swim Schedule
Date Opponent Location
Thursday Mt Tahoma S. Kitsap
Oct. 7 Shelton Shelton
Oct. 14 C. Kitsap S. Kitsap
Oct. 19 Narrows League Divisionals TBA
Oct. 21 Narrows League Diving Foss
Oct. 22 Narrows League Championships Foss
• All regular-season meets start at 3:30 p.m.