Ali Granger hopes the Fremont High girls and boys swimming teams can build off the success they achieved last season.
The Tigers finished 11th in the girls’ division at last season’s state meet – the highest they have ever placed – and also earned six medals. On the boys’ side, JJ Pelikan set a new school record in the 100 breaststroke.
“A lot of momentum is coming from last year,” Granger said. “Our returning state medalists are looking to add to their count, and have set high goals for themselves. Our boys team has been working to get strong and make their presence known this year as well in the relay game.”
While FHS has a smaller group of swimmers this season, Granger said they have been working hard in the pool.
“Some are new to the sport while others are very seasoned,” she said. “As coaches we are excited to see what they can do this season.”
The Tigers opened the 2017-18 season on Thursday at the Columbus dual.
While FHS did not come out on top in the dual, Granger had many reasons to be pleased with the Tigers’ first meet of the year.
The boys medley relay of Mack Prince, Pelikan, Colton Juhl and Dylan Bobbett posted a state secondary qualifying time of 1:48.36. The relay came within less than three seconds of the FHS school record set in 1992.
Bobbett, who along with Pelikan, is captain of the boys squad, won the 200 free (1:48.36) and 500 free (5:30.39).
“This was Dylan’s fastest 500 starting out a season in four years which shows a great deal of promise for his senior season,” Granger said.
Pelikan won the 100 breaststroke (1:06.32) and was second in the 100 fly (59.78) – both secondary qualifying times.
Juhl was second in the 50 free (24.05) and first in the 100 free (53.90) – both secondary qualifying times – while Prince was second in the 100 free (55.33).
Prince and AJ Jacobus went 1-2 in the 100 backstroke. Jacobus was named the Subway Swimmer of the Meet.
“In his second year on the team, Jacobus has worked hard to improve in the offseason and swam personal-best swims in all of his races tonight,” Granger said. “We are excited to see what he is able to accomplish his season.”
Bobbett, Grant Westerman, Jack Norris and Jacobus capped off the meet by winning the 400 free relay (4:04.84).
“The boys showed a great deal of potential tonight and proved they will be forces this season,” Granger said.
The Tigers’ girls team returns individual state medalists Emma Walz and Lauren Gifford.
At Thursday’s dual, Gifford, a junior, won the 200 free (2:11.59) and 100 breaststroke (1:15.29), the latter a state secondary time. Gifford and Kinley Shallberg, who is out for the season while recovering from shoulder season, are the team’s captains.
Walz set a new school record in the 200 IM (2:17.55), beating Gifford’s school record set last season by .01. It also was a state secondary time for the sophomore.
“We are looking forward to watching these two continue to push one another in the event,” Granger said.
Walz also added a win in the 100 free with an automatic state qualifying time of 55.26.
Gifford and Walz joined sophomore Iyala Barnes and junior Kylie Schurz to win the 400 free relay 4:22.43).
Granger named Kylee Pedersen the Subway Swimmer of the Meet. Pedersen, a freshman, swam the 200 free and 100 backstroke on Thursday.
FHS resumes dual competition on Tuesday at Norfolk.