It appears like the Altus High School swimming teams are heading for another big year.
The teams will open their season Saturday at the Harrah Invitational.
With the return of several state qualifiers, Coach Linda Wiginton’s teams have a reason to be optimistic.
Here is a break down of both the boys’ and girls’ teams.
Several regulars come back from last year’s team that placed eighth in the state meet.
Bailey Dickson, Taylor McEntyre, Cassidy Pearl and Stacy Louks are all returning state qualifiers. Pearl was a top 8 finisher at the state meet.
It will be a young squad with only four seniors on the roster.
Still Wiginton is optimistic. “They will get better as the year goes along,” Wiginton said. “I’m optimistic, I think the girls will have a good year.”
A good group returns from last year’s team that challenged for a state championship. It was last year when the boys’ team was leading the state meet going into the final two events before settling for third place in the team standings.
It includes senior Garrett Thompson was who won the 50 meter free style state title. Also back are state qualifiers Matthew Aguilar, Brandon Lundmark and Jacob Oden who were all top eight finishers at the state meet.
Sophomore Daniel Brown was a second place finisher in the 200 meter freestyle as a freshman. Walker Sacco also qualified for the state meet as a freshman.
“We’re excited that we have a meet this weekend. We’re to the point we need some competition,” Wiginton said.
The format for qualifying for the state meet has changed.
Previously swimmers could qualify for the state meet by meeting state qualifying times. That is out. It will be a regional format where have the teams are in the west regional and the other half are in the east regional.
Wiginton is entering her 32nd year at the helm of the AHS swimming program. She has a compiled an impressive record of 939-263.
Each year the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) reorganizes outstanding coaches throughout the United State and the member associations via the NFHS Award Program.
The staff at the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association has selected Wiginton to represent Oklahoma as Coach of the Year for Oklahoma Boys Swimming based upon the 2012-2013 season. Her nomination form will be submitted to the national office for further consideration.
Last year’s team for both girls and boys made the top 30 in the nation for public schools in the National Interscholastic Swimming Association power point program.
Her 2010 boys team was state champions and 2010 squad was second in the state.
She also coached several individual state champions.
Megan Cardell, Tera Downs, Stacey Louks, Taylor McEntire
Amanda Garland, Lilia Kennedy, Charlotte Thornton, Mandie Willingham
Katie Beth Darby (manager), Bailey Dickson, Ivie Taylor, Stacey Lockman, Cassidy Pearl, Jenna Ripley (manager)
Amanda Garland, Lilia Kennedy,Charlotte Thornton, Mandie Willingham
Lacey Bacon, Dayna Brown, Audrey Cooper, Rachel Dowell, Bobbie-Jo McKinley, Skyler Taulbee
Spencer Kelm, Turner Kennedy, Garrett Thompson,
Mathew Aguilar, Brandon Lundmark, Jacob Oden, Charles Smith, Robert Spain
Daniel Brown, Konner Croft, Isaac Dyer, Jaiel Lee, Ryan Louks, Dominik Friesenhahn, Jaret Nassaney, Ethan Powers, Walker Sacco, David Scott
Harrison Spooner, Randall Jencks III
2, Harrah Invitational, 11 a.m.
7, Wichita Falls/Duncan, here, 3:15 p.m.
15, Lawton, here, 3:15 p.m
16, Amarillo Christian, 9:30 a.m.
22, Edmond, at OCCC, 6 p.m.
7, Joe Stocker Invitational, OCCC, 10:15 a.m.
13, Mustang, here, 3:15 p.m.
14, Amarillo High/Tascosa, here 9:30 a.m.
10, Harrah, here, 3:15 p.m.
16, Duncan, there, 5 p.m.
18, Cassidy Invitational, OCCC, 10 a.m.
24, Lawton Schools, Cameron, 4:15 p.m.
30, Area, Duncan
7/8, Regional Meet
21/22 State Meet
The top eight finishers in each event in each of the regionals will qualify. Also the next eight fastest times from either the east or west will also qualify.
“It will be so different than what I have ever done in 21 years,” Wiginton said. “But we’re all in the same boat. Basically we have to be hooked up and ready to go at regionals.”
“We’re swimming our brains out and trying to coach them up so we will be ready for regionals.”