In each of the past two seasons, the Chambersburg girls swim team has managed to pick up three victories despite a lack of depth and experience.
They did it by hard work, leading to improving times.
For the 2019-20 season, it appears that same formula will need to be applied by the Trojans and coach Donnie Miller.
The Chambersburg roster has only 14 swimmers, no divers, and a handful of girls who are new to the sport. The Trojans host Carlisle in their season opener on Thursday at 4 p.m. at the Chambersburg YMCA.
“They have a great work ethic and want to get better,” Miller said. “I see girls who want to come to practice and work, and to do well, but don’t have the benefit of being year-round swimmers.
“And in our division (Mid Penn Commonwealth), it’s hard to be competitive if you don’t have a lot of girls who swim year-round.”
The top returning swimmer is sophomore Olivia Terrazas, who placed 23rd in the District 3 Class 3A backstroke and 24th in the district 200 IM.
“She will also try some different events this year,” Miller said.
Also back are junior Emily Stroble (distance freestyle, butterfly) and sophomore Audrey Kough (distance freestyle, butterfly).
The three senior captains, of whom Miller said have “a positive attitude and good work ethic,” include Alea Burkholder (backstroke), Tiana Rivera (free, breaststroke) and Emily Roat (free). All have been with the program for three or four years.
Three newcomers who could help the team are sophomore Cora Zimmerman and freshmen Chace Johnson (distance freestyle, butterfly) and Layne Rydbom (breaststroke, fly, free).
Miller said, “Cora is new to swimming, but has improved dramatically in three weeks. Chace and Layne swam with the YMCA club team, and we’ll have to find what events are best for them.”
The Trojans did lose a couple of swimmers from last year’s team, Maddie Kinton and Emma Grove, who decided to concentrate on running this year. Kinton was a district qualifier.
Miller said, “We face some powerhouse programs in our division, like Hershey, State College and Cumberland Valley. We just hope we get better and become strong swimmers, and hope we can win a couple of meets and be proud of ourselves.”