The Sturgis girls swimming and diving team jumps back into the pool as the 2013 season kicks off tonight against visiting Otsego. The Trojans feature 11 returning athletes and a strong group of upperclassmen after finishing 4-5 overall and 2-3 in Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference competition last fall.
Senior Jessica Cline hopes to defend her SMAC championship in the 100-yard breaststroke and again qualify for the Division 3 state finals in that event, the 200 individual medley and the medley relay. Classmate Alea Penner hopes for a return trip to the finals in diving after placing 12th in 2012, and in the medley relay (freestyle leg). Those two were both named to the All-SMAC East Division squad.
At the SMAC Championship last year, Junior Cleanna Crabill (200 free) was 12th, Cline was fourth in the individual medley and first in the 100 breaststroke, Penner placed sixth in the 50 free and second in diving and junior Anna Rueppel took 10th in the 100 free and ninth in the 100 breaststroke.
“Very satisfied with the team’s performance last year,” Trojans coach Laura Penner said. “We had a lot of swimmers/divers that stepped up and were a force on the team.
“We have a young team and look forward to the leadership of our returning swimmers/divers to build experience. Led by our co-captains (Crabill and Cline) and seniors, we are excited about the synergy and the work ethic on the team and look forward to a great season.”
MEET THE TROJANS
Returning athletes: Amanda Camburn (Sr.), Jessica Cline (Sr.), Danielle Maystead (Sr.), Emily Nosler (Sr.), Alea Penner (Sr.), Cleanna Crabill (Jr.), Anna Rueppel (Jr.), Elizabeth York (Jr.), Madeline Earl (So.), Lauren Falkenstein (So.), Sydney Strawser (So.).
Newcomers: Mercedes VanAlmen (Jr.), Alyssa Hammond (So.), Chelsea Cole (Fr.), Savannah Jones (Fr.), Sara Stemen (Fr.), Anna Tetzloff (Fr.), Kylie Trail (Fr.), Sarah Trine (Fr.).