Give them a yard, they’ll take a meter

By: 
Sonja Karp

Sonja Karp

NLJ Sports Reporter

 

The Lady Dogies are accustomed to competing in pools set up with the yard system, but last Saturday at the Douglas Invitational they were in for longer swims, as the pool is based on meters instead.

As such, it may appear that finishes are slower. However, in the conversion between distances head coach Doug Scribner’s swimmers each rose to the challenge of the longer races and posted some pretty good times, especially given this meet has traditionally been a tired one for the team.

“Usually in Douglas we don’t see the best times from the girls, because they are usually feeling some fatigue at this point,” Scribner began. “However, last week in Worland appears to have been our tired meet and we performed especially well for Douglas.”

The highlight swim of the meet was Madi Townsend in the 400 Meter (500 Yard) Freestyle race, where she dropped 23 seconds from her converted time. With that finish, Townsend is now only six seconds away from qualifying in that event. While that may appear at first glance to be a big number, it is not given swimmers have 20 laps in which to make up the time.

“Madi swam really well on Saturday and now she is close to qualifying in the 500 Free, the 100 Backstroke, the 100 Butterfly and the 100 Free,” Scribner grinned. 

Once again, Scribner’s plan to focus on the relay teams was thwarted by absences. Abbey Lacey was out for the second consecutive week with shoulder issues, and Emily Beastrom and Becca Henkle were not competing as well.

Being down three swimmers, Scribner had to do some juggling to fill the three relays, so ended up entering Paige Liggett into all three, and only one individual event, in order to have a little more flexibility.

“We really did pretty well in our relays,” he stated. “Everyone was on their best times in the 200 Medley and Hannah [Gross] had her fastest split this season in the 400 Free relay.”

Gross dropped a couple tenths of a second in the 200 IM, Gracie Emmitt carved off three seconds from her 50 Free and Liggett took two seconds off her time in the 100 Free.

“Hannah’s 200 IM was a fun one because she swam against the same girl as she did in Worland. She still got second behind her, but improved her time,” Scribner described. “The girl has four really strong strokes so when Hannah gets to the breast stroke, where she struggles a bit, she loses ground against her.”

Scribner was particularly pleased to see his team perform well last weekend, given this year’s Conference Meet is being held in Douglas. In addition to presenting longer races, the pool is treated with a salt water disinfectant system so the water contains a significant level of salt, which is a different environment than most competition pools.

“I made sure the girls remembered that this is where they’ll be swimming conference, and told them to use the opportunity to get accustomed to the characteristics of the pool,” Scribner nodded. “I wanted to make sure they were focused on their race and get everything out of the way, so there are no surprises when it comes to conference.”

This week, the team will head to Buffalo for an invitational on Saturday, and Scribner is optimistic he will have his team at full capacity.

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