The Peninsula Seahawks will be young in the pool this winter, but school record-holder Caleb Riggs will return, as well as senior Travis Brunson.
Riggs set the school mark in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 58.07 seconds. Brunson is a district-meet qualifier who swam a 24.66 in the 50 freestyle.
Brunson said his biggest goal this year is to make it to state.
“We definitely want to win league, place as best we can in districts, and just see kind of how we go from there,” he said.
Peninsula head coach Craig Brown said the team has a lot of freshmen who haven’t seen much competition. Still, he’ll looks to his experienced core for leadership.
“We’ve got three core swimmers we’re going to count on a lot: Caleb Riggs, Alex Wenman and Travis Brunson,” Brown said. “We have quite a few swimmers that have never swam before. It’s going to be a learning experience for them, but they seem to be a pretty hard-working group, so we’ll see how it turns out.”
The Seahawks won the South Puget Sound League 3A title last season, and they’ll look to repeat the feat.
Yet Brown said it will be difficult without club competitors who swim year-round. He often coaches athletes who are just learning how to swim competitively.
“Riggs is the only club swimmer we have,” Brown said. “We’re just a young group, and we’ll have to take it one day at a time. It’s fun to coach kids who haven’t done any competitive swimming before, but it can be a challenge to get them motivated because all the hard work they’re doing, it doesn’t seem like they’re getting anywhere, and they get frustrated. But I’m pleased with what I see so far.”
Brunson said there’s room for improvement, and he expects the freshmen to improve as the year progresses.
The Seahawks also bring back diver Riley Wynn, who hopes to have a big year.
“I want to win state,” he said. “I want to break 400 in points. Currently I’ve gotten 378.”
Wynn said he’s confident the team will do well as long as they keep improving every day.
“We have a lot of great swimmers and divers, a lot of new freshman talent that’s coming in,” Wynn said. “If they can just learn how to work hard, we’re going to be great.”Sports reporter Jon Manley can be reached at 253-358-4151 or by email at jon.manley@ gateline.com. Follow him on Twitter, @gateway_jon.