Merrill swimmers find challenge in own backyard

Coaches- Bethany Preboske (3rd, head) Cathy Ordemann (3rd, asst.).
Last season’s accomplishments- dual win over Witt./Birn.
Major losses- Kelcey Hein, Nicole Pikus, Laura Krueger.
Key returnees- Emma Sowieja (spr., brea.), Elise Ordemann (IM), Courtney Kolehouse (spr., brea.), Mackenzie Baacke (back.), Megan Koelsch (spr.), Tori Engel (dist.).
Promising newcomers- Jourdyn Mootz jr., Megan Johnson, jr., Robin Opsahl, fr., Jennica Jahnke, fr.
Preboske quotable- “Our expectations this season are to challenge ourselves. There will be many challenges, but to eliminate the pressure, we need to work hard during practices and training. Our training must be consistent. We need to always push to be better and never give up. No matter what, our chins cannot hang; we must stand and be proud that we did our best. Everyday we want the girls feeling like they have accomplished something great, in and out of the water.
“One goal is to have all the swimmers improve their race times throughout the season. This should be at arms reach with their dedication and motivation at practices.
“Another goal is to have all swimmers working to their best potential at practices. Whether the workout is on land or in the water, they need to understand that the challenge will be easier if we are all prepared.
“Our strengths include the ability to support and teach each other positively. Our team is great with the amount of sportsmanship that is portrayed. The girls are close knit, like a family. The amount of determination and challenge that they give to each other in practices is fantastic. They are able to push the limits because a teammate is right along side.
“I enjoy how close the girls are to each other. It makes coaching a whole lot easier. They seem to understand each other. They work together the whole time, always there cheering and rooting on the swimmer in the water.
“With a small team, the girls really get a chance to get to know each other. They are close and willing to help each other get better.
“Our key returnees are great leaders, motivated swimmers, who show a desire to learn and better their strokes each and every day. During the summer months, Courtney Kolehouse (11), Elise Ordemann (11), and Emma Sowieja (12) went above and beyond and participated in swim camps. These girls look for perfection in the water. They offer other swimmers the techniques and basic fundamentals that they have learned from their summer camps. All three girls show confidence, determination, and respect in and out of the water.
“Jourdyn Mootz will be swimming with a lot of promise this season. Her motivation to improve is outstanding and everyone was excited to see her come out for the team. Robin Opsahl has a great sense of understanding and her ability to take in what is taught is always great. There are other freshman and newcomers this season that offer the same potential in the water. They are always up for a challenge. What a great group of young ladies to watch in the water.”

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