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November 28, 2012

H.S. SWIMMING PREVIEW: Highlanders look to repeat at conference, sectional

Dogs, Devils hope to push for HHC, sectional titles



• Coach: Keith Gast, 15th season at Jeff.

• Assistant Coaches: Michael Dennis, Greg Smith (diving), April Gibson (diving).

• Departed Swimmers: Hanna Martin (three-year state qualifier), Kea Gwin (four-year sectional finalist).

• Returning Varsity Swimmers: Elizabeth Browne (So., 100, 200 free); Samantha Glover (Jr., IM and breast); Katie Scott (Sr., sprints and back); Alexa Waldrip (diving); Yanna Martin (IM, fly and breast); Amber Leininger (distance free).

• Varsity Newcomers: Amelia Blankenbeker (free and fly); Kali Crace (fly, back and sprints); Karlee Demsey (100 fly, 100 back).

• Outlook: Jeff could have its best season in years. Demsey, who moved from Jeff to Kentucky, has moved back and Gast believes she can be a state finalist and a solid replacement fror Hanna Martin. The Red Devils have some individual conference and sectional championship contenders and decent depth. Making a run at Floyd and New Albany is unlikely, but it’s not impossible.

• Coach Gast said: “We are already better than I thought we would be this season. It looks like we might be facing a real rebuilding season, but we are looking forward to the next few weeks as we will start our dual meet competitions against HHC competition, including Seymour, New Albany and Floyd Central. If we want to improve on our fourth-place finish from last season, we have to be able to beat one or more of those teams. It will be a tough task as all three of those teams are traditionally HHC powers, but I like our chances to improve this season.”


• Coach: Steve Bonifer, 22nd season at New Albany.

• Departed Swimmers: Abby Liktenhous, Courtney Lancaster.

• Returning Varsity Swimmers: Hannah Manger (Sr.), Lauren McCool (Sr.), Phoebe Bauer (Sr.), Rachel Klein (Sr.), Shelby Renner (Sr.), Alexis Lete (So.), Kaitlyn Stewart (Sr.), Kelsey Newlin (Sr.), Lauren Kessinger (So., diver).

• Varsity Newcomers: Reagan Thom (Fr.), Elsie Brown (Fr.), Emma Reas (Fr.), Gabby Getty (Fr.).

• Outlook: With seven returning seniors and Lete, who was a valuable contributor as a freshman last season, New Albany will once again be a Hoosier Hills Conference and sectional contender. There’s no doubt that Bulldogs will place a ton of swimmers near the front at the conference and sectional. The question is will they have enough depth to compete with Floyd Central and Seymour.

• Coach Bonifer said: “We have only 12 girls swimming and three divers, but out of our 12, we have some pretty solid swimmers. Our divers — Lauren Kessinger, Grace Sherrell and Emma Reas — should do very well this year. On the swimming side, we have three out of the four swimmers back on two relays that went to state — Hannah Manger, Rachel Klein and Alexis Lete. Lauren McCool is a very hard worker who could steop into the fourth spot, along with Reagan Thom. Other swimmers that should help out consistently are Phoebe Bauer, Shelby Renner, Kaitlyn Stewart, Shelby Kerberg and Kelsey Newlin.”

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