Staples fall preview: Girls swimming team returns strong core
Published 6:57 pm, Tuesday, September 6, 2016
The record board inside the pool at Staples High School features the top several times from each event from the program’s long history. In one meet against Ridgefield last season — a narrow Staples win — the Wreckers added more than 10 times to the board.
Several of those record holders are back to carry the flag following one of the most successful years in school history, while four-year standout Mia Bullock is now at Fordham University.
The Wreckers posted a sparkling record during the dual meet season to claim a share of the West division for the first time in school history before taking fourth at FCIACs, third at Class LL and sixth at the State Open. In addition to Bullock, Anelise Browne and Aileen Coyne graduated from what coach Mike Laux described as the best team he’s had as Staples coach.
Three of the Wreckers seniors will serve as captains this fall. Kenzie Healy will swim in the sprint freestyle events. Caroline Gray is also a freestyle swimmer and Kristina Wasserman swims the backstroke events.
“We lost a couple of good swimmers but we’ve improved and picked up some good swimmers,” said junior Willow Woods. “Our club swimmers have been training the entire year so it will be good.”
Staples features several talented underclassmen ready to make a big leap. Woods swam in the 100 breaststroke and 200 IM at last year’s State Open.
“Willow has a lot of talent,” Laux said. “She’s a strong swimmer and has a lot of speed. She likes to race.”
“All of the sophomores were very good last year as freshmen,” Laux said. “We’re hoping they’re better this year as sophomores.”
There may be several freshman waiting to fill in the gaps from the departed seniors, according to Laux.
The Wreckers have to replace all of their top divers from a year ago. Diving coach Dan Long lost Sophia Stanley (fourth), Eliza Donovan (10th), Katherine Hertan (16th) and Hannah Rose (22nd), who all placed at the Class LL championships last winter.
With the bar raised from a successful 2015, the Wreckers will try to repeat what they managed a year ago.
“I think we have a really good team and I think we have the capability to doing just as well as we did last year, if not better,” Kenzie Healy said.
And perhaps add more times to the record board.
“We definitely want to be as close to Ridgefield again,” Marissa Healy said. “And swim as fast as we possibly can to place at FCIACs and states.”