Diving into a special season

The 2020-2021 swim season begins after a less than fortunate offseason


Photo by Jeff Wilber

Senior Dylan Fucik swims the 100 backstroke at time trials. Last season, he was a part of the record breaking 400 Freestyle Relay team. “I am mainly looking forward to competing again,” Fucik said. “We haven’t competed for eight months so jumping in and competing with other teams is what I’m most excited about.”

Miguel Paredes Reyes, Sports Director

After a more than unusual offseason for swimmers across the country, the varsity swim team dives in for the 2020-2021 season.

The Wildcats are coming off the record breaking 2019-2020 season after the boys finished in seventh in the state, the girls finishing in 11th and breaking two school records in the process in the Boys 400 Freestyle Relay and the Boys 500 Freestyle. The loss of many notable seniors from last year proves to be the difference for the Wildcats, including  graduates Jordan Stalhiem, Ben DuBay, Keegan Kruse, Sydney Hall and Gabi Nordaker.

We have lost a lot of leaders but have new ones ready to take their place,” head coach Jamie Bowcott said. “We also have a strong underclassmen group to establish sustainability as well. I don’t care how it goes or how it looks, I just want the kids, especially the seniors, to have one last go.

State qualifiers who are returning to the team include boys seniors Dyaln Fucik, Andrew Kenny and Tanner Klahn. The girls returning state swimmers include seniors Mia Olson, Emily Benjamin, Aubri Hukill, Sydney Rangeloff and junior Katie Kuntz. The girls team has also added another state qualifier, Millard North transfer, senior Isabelle Berlin to lead this young team. 

“We have a lot of new talented swimmers who have a lot of potential,” Fucik said. “It’s exciting to know we have a young team that will be here for years to come. This team has much more potential than I’ve seen in past years.”

Of course, the looming threat of COVID-19 proves to be the team’s largest obstacle. The NSAA has forbidden any spectators for meets, as well as mandatory JV team cuts, which has never been done before on the swim team. Mask mandates have been issued for the whole team during meets, training and any other time unless they are in the pool. All invitationals have been canceled, and teams now have the option on deciding to have their meets be virtual, which means all schools will swim at their own pools and the results are submitted.

As for the diving team, all divers from the previous season will return to the board with new returning head coach Mike Retelsdorf at the helm. This team also had a successful 2019-2020 season with junior Lainey Woodward placing in state runner up and being awarded as an All-American, as well as two other Top 10 finishers in junior Maddie Hertzler and senior Claren Coalson.

“I had the opportunity to return to a program that I felt I owed something to,” Retelsdorf said. “With that in mind, I just want to see these kids succeed and teach them anything I can.”

Both young teams dive into their seasons on December 3 in a dual against Westside at 4:30pm