- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Swim teams set for another summer
By TAMMY SHOWALTERStaff writer
It’s been nearly a year since the Prince-Mont Swim League teams have been together.
With new coaches and one year of growth, the teams Bannister, Hawthorne, Indian Head, Kings Landing, Smallwood and Waves of Westlake are looking to improve and move through the ranks even more.
Three-year-old Kings Landing of Calvert County has moved up a division yet again after an undefeated 2011 campaign and divisional win on July 3 with 310.5 points. Kings Landing entered the league in 2010 in the G division and after a flawless season jumped to the E division.
It will now swim in the D division, which includes Russett Swim Team who won the division last year with 258 points at the divisional meet. Russett will travel to Kings Landing on June 30 for Week 3 competition.
Head coach Chris Morgan, also heads the swim team at Huntingtown High School, will be coaching standouts David Almond (15- to 18-year-old age group) and Philip Means (10-U). On the girls side, Antonia Smart (15-18), Nyah Hartwell (10-U) and Mallory Nimmich (9-10) will lead the way.
"We want to have fun and be competitive," Morgan said. "We have 130 kids on the team this year and one thing about this group is that we have a lot of returning swimmers that have graduated from high school and still want to swim with us this summer. Our goal is to obviously win the division and have as many swimmers as possible qualify for All-Stars."
Bannister and Kings Landing each have many versatile swimmers.
Bannister did some moving around this year as well. It moved from the E division down to the F division.
Two standouts who are coming back to Bannister are 16-year-old Jacob LaBarbera and 15-year-old Eric Matteson. On the girls side, Amber Sandy and Taylor Webber will swim in the 15-18 age group. Madison Garrett will help lead the way for the 8-year-olds.
“Our main goal is to improve technique and drop time,” Bannister head coach Stephanie Weimert said. “Naturally with new swimmers the DQ [disqualification] count in breaststroke is high. This is something we will have to continue to work on all summer, but I am confident that our new swimmers will rise to the challenge.”
Bannister’s medley relays have been tough to beat in the past and Weimert prides her team on them again this season and said that discipline is one of the team’s top priorities.
“The coaches expect the swimmers to stay focused during practices in order to master the technique of all strokes,” Weimert said. “We expect the DQ count to be low or nonexistent by the end of the season. By staying focused and working hard all season we are hoping to see time drops from every athlete.”
Smallwood welcomes new head coach Brianne Bourassa, who also coached the La Plata High School swim team. Bourassa said she is excited about the opportunity.
“Actually my current boss was a parent of one of the kids I coach at La Plata and they asked me if I was interested,” Bourassa said. “They’re all great kids. I’m getting to know them all and what strokes are their favorites. They really have great attitudes.”
Bourassa is happy to welcome her new assistant who isn’t a stranger to the Prince-Mont League, Amelia Tarlton. Tarlton is a 2010 Westlake High School graduate and rising junior at Marist College (N.Y.). She once swam for Seth Rose’s Westlake squad in Prince-Mont and also assisted him last year. In her senior year at Westlake, Tarlton earned All-SMAC honors in the 100-yard freestyle as well as the 200 free relay in which she swam with Ebony Sherrill, Kelcey Landgraf and Brittany Impastato.
Rose turned the reins over to new head coach Nathan Stephens, a 2008 Huntingtown High School graduate who assisted Morgan with Kings Landing last season. Stephens also swam with Westlake’s Prince-Mont team for 13 years.
“I’m super excited about the season,” Stephens said. “Our goal is to end the season with no DQs and to be able to swim all four strokes correctly. We have a strong older group in the 15- to 18 year-olds.”
It is projected that standout Anthony Nguyen will be back this season after setting a new record last year in the 25 butterfly in the 10-U age group with a time of 15.36 seconds.
Staff writer AJ Mason contributed to this report.
Kings LandingHead coach: Chris Morgan (third season)
Last year: 5-0 (Division E champion)
Athletes to watch: Boys free David Almond (15-18), fly/breast/IM Philip Means (9-10), breast Zachary Spain (12-13); girls free Antonia Smart (15-18), breast Nyah Hartwell (9-10), free/back Mallory Nimmich (9-10)
Key personnel losses: None
Strengths: In the last two seasons, Kings Landing has been Division G and E champions and is undefeated with a 10-0 record over that span. This season, Kings Landing moves up to Division D and has 130 kids on the team.
Morgan pointed out that one thing about the team is that he has a lot of returning swimmers who are eager to perform this summer. The coach has some high school graduates who will still swim this summer and bring experience to the squad.
Weaknesses: Morgan said that the coaches will have to work with the new swimmers on learning basic techniques of their strokes and work on their starts and turns. They will have to use the first few meets to gain momentum for the divisional and all-star meets.
Coach’s comments: “We want to have fun and be competitive. Obviously we like to win the division, but we just want to qualify as many swimmers as we can for All-Stars.
Key meets: June 30 vs. Russett, July 7 at Roger Carter