Some coaches spend hours pondering a team competition, including all the other teams involved.
Catholic High coach Doug Logsdon and St. Joseph’s Academy coach Rebecca Barber have opted for more of an individualized approach for the Capital City Swim League Championships.
“I just want to see every girl we have swimming do their best,” Barber said. “We still have some girls who are looking to get state qualifying times. We’re trying some different combinations in some events and on relays. As long as everybody does the best they can, I think everything else should take care of itself.”
The two-day CCSL Championships begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday with girls preliminary heats at the Crawfish Aquatics pool. Boys prelims are set to follow at 1 p.m. Combined finals are scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday.
Certain things about the annual CCSL meet are givens. The dominating presence of the Bears and the Redstickers is one of them. Catholic has won the last 24 CCSL boys title, while SJA has claimed 14 girls titles in a row.
“We see this meet as being a great dress rehearsal for the state meet later this month,” Logsdon said. “You don’t get to swim a prelim/finals meets that often, and we really need to take advantage of this.
“Our goal will be to come out and swim as fast as we possibly can in the prelims Saturday and then come out swim faster than that on Sunday in the finals. We’ve got a couple of guys who’ll be swimming in events they don’t normally do because we’re trying to give some other guys the chance to get state cuts.”
The Bears have the top entry marks in all eight individual events and all three relays. Braden Nyboer (200-yard individual medley, 500 freestyle) and Brady Grenfell (50 freestyle, 100 butterfly) each have the top entry times in two events.
The possibilities for last year’s CCSL meet MVP, Colin Bone, also are intriguing. Bone has the top entry mark in the 200 freestyle and also typically swims the 500 freestyle. With teams limited to four entries per individual event, the versatile Bone is entered in the 100 freestyle.
Bone isn’t seeded first, but set a Division I state record in the 100 freestyle last season with time comparable to the existing CCSL meet record of 46.70 seconds set by Catholic’s Brian Zielinski in 1981.
St. Joseph’s has the top entry marks in all but two individual events and also has the top marks in all three girls relays. The Redstickers will rely heavily on Clayton Black (200 and 500 freestyles) and Caroline Beene (50 and 100 freestyles) who also have two top entry marks.
The existing 50 and 100 freestyle records set by former SJA swimmer Leigh Ann Kingin 2005 may be within Beene’s reach. Black is approximately three seconds off another longtime record, the 200 freestyle mark of 1:51.23 set by Parkview Baptist’s Shelly Ripple in 1996.
What will happen in the rest of the team competition will be interesting, too. Lutcher, Zachary and Episcopal are among the boys teams to watch. Episcopal, Dutchtown and Parkview help lead the list of other girls teams to note.