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IAC GIRLS SWIMMING: SENIOR TRIO LEADS WAVERLY INTO 2021 SEASON (2021-09-09)

By TIM BIRNEY
Valley Sports Report
WAVERLY — Waverly has a “nice mix of veterans and youth,” and girls swim coach Amy Steck is excited for the 2021 season.

(Waverly opens the 2021 campaign tonight at home against Notre Dame.)

“Our numbers are good. We’re hovering at 12 or 13,” she said.

“We have a nice mix of veterans and young swimmers,” noted Steck. “It’s kind of spans the gamut, although we’re a little light on 9th- and 10th-graders.

“I’m excited. It’s been two years since we had a true fall season,” added Steck. “That seems to be the feeling across the board for all fall coaches. “It’s time. This is September, it’s a pice of normalcy for us; our routine.”

The Lady Wolverines will be led by a trio of seniors — Lourden Benjamin, Delaney Vascoe, and Willow Sharpsteen — and junior Sophia DeSisti.

“Those three seniors have been around and swimming at a varsity level for six years because we never had a solid modified program to offer them.

“They are the core of the team,” said Steck.

“And Sophia DeSisti was outstanding this spring, and she’s only going to get better,” added Steck. “I’m excited to see what all four of them can do this season.”

Steck is excited about having a full preseason to prepare for the season.

“The spring was such an abbreviated season, so for our girls to do what they did was impressive,” she said. “Nearly every girls either beat or hovered around their personal-best times, and it was a very short season.

“I look forward to see what they can do this year in a full season.”

The Lady Wolverines also return senior Nicole Bunke, juniors Natalie Garrity, and Josie VanDyke, and 8th-graders Mira Kittle, Lizzie Robinson, and Emma Vanderhoof.

New to the pool this year are junior Abby Knolles, sophomore Seriema French, and 8th-grader Sidney Rosenbloom

Steck is also looking forward to seeing the progression in her divers — Van Dyke and Garrity, who finished 1-2 at the IAC Championships, and 2-4 at the Section IV, Class C Championships in the spring.

“Natalie and Josie are excited to be back at it,” said Steck. “They did diving camps, and came in for our summer sessions, which I think will benefit them.”

As for expectations, Steck is just looking for her team to be at their best by the end of the season.

“I think we’ll be very competitive within the IAC.

“We’re Class B for Sectionals, which makes it tougher, so the competition will be there for the high-fliers,” said Steck.

“Personally, I just want to see all our girls reach personal-best times, especially our seniors. They were all on the cusp during the spring season,” added Steck. “Hopefully, with a full preseason and back in a routine, with a little more technique work, they’ll be able to end their high school careers on a very positive note, which is the goal.”

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IN PHOTO: From left, Waverly seniors Delaney Vascoe, Willow Sharpsteen, and Lourden Benjamin. … PHOTOS BY TIM BIRNEY.

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