Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jeremy Jaeger
Sports@lhvc.com 

Boys Swimming: Nine returning state qualifiers make waves

 


The Silver Creek boys swim team is heading into the 2017 season under the steady guidance of Coach Debbie Stewart, who is entering her 16th year as the team’s head coach. This year’s squad has 38 swimmers, with students from Niwot, Mead and Erie high schools joining those from Silver Creek.

Stewart said that there are no tryouts, and that the team welcomes all comers. This can present a bit of a challenge, with team members who have been competitive swimmers for years practicing alongside others who are relative newbies to the sport.

This is where Stewart turns to assistant coaches Alex Grant and Kyle Stewart, both of whom are entering their fourth years as coaches, and both of whom were also members of Silver Creek’s 2008 state championship team. “I can totally trust them to teach the basics to the new swimmers,” Debbie Stewart said, “which in turn gives me the ability to work on polishing and fine-tuning the skills of our team members who are more experienced.”

It’s a bit of a rebuilding year for Silver Creek. Roland Bailey, last year’s team captain and the only senior returning state qualifier, is expected to provide leadership along with fellow seniors Joey Wahl and Damon Patrick. Stewart said the strongest class on this year’s team is the juniors, who return five state qualifiers including Sam Beaudry, Kendrick Choong, Ashton Hubert and Ben Willett.

Stewart has high expectations for junior standout Chris Wingfield, who finished eighth in the 50 meter freestyle at state last year. “He can provide a lot of power for this team,” Stewart said. “He can swim anything and is kind of a utility tool for us. Whatever I ask him to do, he’s all ready to go.”

The sophomore class returns three state qualifiers, Andrew Wu, Colby Wingfield and Matthew Teta. Other team members to keep an eye on who could make some waves this year include Hayden Dickinson, Noah Simon, Matthew Winn, Carson Simon, and Dakota Casey.

The first meet of the season is the Estes Park Sprints on Saturday, March 11, which Stewart said is “more of a fun meet, kind of a chance to break in the new swimmers, help them get the feel” of meet competition. After that comes the first dual of the season on March 16 against Longmont. Stewart said that she would “love to see us stay in the top 10 this year. We’ve got some unknown quantities on this team, so it’s hard to know how we’ll end up. But there’s definitely some potential in the times we’re seeing from some of these young guys, so we’re feeling good.”

 

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