By Micah McVicker Flyer Correspondent
---- — The Ben Davis girls’ swim team returns a limited amount of girls with viable big meet experience. Two sophomore swimmers, Maddie Cook and Nicole Zellers, along with senior Judith Medina will look to lead the Giants this season.
Ben Davis coach George Fastrich said experience from last season will be very important to the Giants’ successes this season.
“The more sectional and championship meet (knowledge) they can get, the better and stronger they get for the following season,” Fastrich said. “That way when they come in this year with that experience, it’s not going to be as stressful for ‘em, which will allow them to compete at a better level.”
A talented freshmen class will help buoy the Giants team, Fastrich said.
“When you lose a lot of your seniors, and you’re trying to rebuild, you gotta start at those lower levels,” the eighth-year coach said. “Last year’s freshmen class was the beginning, and this year we got another good crew coming in.”
The girls’ team picked up a couple seniors that have not swam in the past, Fastrich said, and Medina’s experience and seniority will put a lot of responsibility on her shoulders.
“We do have some underclassmen that, as far as captains are going to be concerned, that have swimming experience that will hopefully be helping her along with all that,” he said.
Fastrich praised the way Cook and Zellers competed nine months ago. The girls took a wiser approach into the offseason.
“They understand that if they want to do better than what they did last year, they’re going to have to spend more time in the pool,” Fastrich said.
For its part, Ben Davis struggled a bit with injuries last season.
The Carmel Greyhounds won its 27th consecutive state title in February.
Fastrich said realistically, his team is not ready to unseat the Greyhounds, though he is looking for a modicum of perennial success. Swimmers who commit to the sports for more than one season — often their senior campaigns — are a requisite.
For Ben Davis, the first week of practice is off to an auspicious start.
“From what I’ve seen so far, they’re really more into what they’re doing,” he said. “The hope is to try and get as many people into the sectional finals as possible.”