The biggest returner for the Bulldogs is senior Madeline Ketchem, a team captain and two-time state meet qualifier. Saylor is also happy about versatile junior relay swimmers Grace Fulwider, Tia Scoggan, and Chloe Wittig returning as sectional finalists from last year. Sophomores Brianna LaPaugh and Kierra Watson also return after strong freshmen campaigns and a solid summer of training.
Newcomers expecting to make an impact include senior Paige Jones, an experienced youth diver; senior Kristin Verpe, a Norweigan exchange student who can swim all of the freestyle events; and freshmen Madison Kehr and Piper Lovett, who are both state-level performers in their age group.
With this team, Saylor has set achievable goals for the Bulldogs.
“Our goals are to finish top five at the Hoosier Crossroads Conference meet in January and qualify as many swimmers as possible to the IHSAA state finals,” he said. “We also have a team goal of breaking at least one school record this season after breaking none last year.”
The outlook is positive for this season of Brownsburg girls’ swimming.
“We have some outstanding veteran leadership and all of the younger swimmers have embraced the team ideal and I think we will improve dramatically over the course of the season,” Saylor said.
A talented, experienced group is helping bring in a new tide for the Tri-West Bruins in 2012.
Of coach Jeff Sankey’s 15 girls on the squad, only six of them were on the team last year. Nine of the 15 girls are freshmen.
“We’ve already lost a few key swimmers from last year due to injury, so it’s hard to tell what the season may bring in terms of meet results,” Sankey said.
The 2011 Bruins went 14-3 in dual meets, including some close losses to Danville and Lebanon. Sankey, however, is confident his freshmen will be able to step in immediately and contribute.