Coach Peterson and the girls have their eyes fixed on school records, meet success
The Storm Lake swim team is a program that was nearly scrapped entirely just two seasons ago.
Thanks to Alta's Roger Peterson, area girls still have the opportunity to compete in the pool. Peterson is excited about this season from his veteran leaders to the talented newcomers.
"Our strengths and weaknesses go hand in hand," said Peterson. "We have seven upperclassmen with the ability to lead by work and performance. With 13 sophomore and freshmen we are very young. How fast our girls mature and get in shape will determine how well we do."
The Tornadoes will be led by a trio of seniors back from a year ago. Sophia Haselhof, Laura McDowell, and Erin Tucker are all expected to have very strong seasons in their final campaign.
"Haselhof is a fine free-styler and strong in the breast stroke," said Peterson "However, she is also very proficient in the back and fly. McDowell is a great example of one who leads by hard work and desire. Laura swims a variety of short and long races. Tucker leads the team in almost all categories. Free and back are her real strengths."
Flanking the seniors' effort will be three juniors who Peterson is equally excited about.
"Jenna Harms brings great work ethics and will compete in the free or fly," said the coach. "Mary Mooney will be back to swim the breast and 500 free. Wow, who would want to swim 500 yards? Paige Steineke is very competitive in the free and very capable in all other strokes."
Peterson has high hopes for the six veterans returning this fall.
"These six young ladies have the opportunity and ability to do great things," said the coach. "It will be tough. However, they have the ability to set a record or two."
Adding experience to the squad will be sophomores Madison Cerizo, Elizabeth Eller, Stacey Stark, Bobbi Jo Staton, Jessica Stelle, and Courtney Hewitt.
Also joining the Tornado team and helping the rest of the upperclassmen will be senior Ashley Scuffum.
"Ashley is out to give swimming a try," said Peterson. "And she will certainly help our team."
The Tornado squad got some valuable help in terms of depth by a strong group of seven freshmen.
"The freshmen have a large variety of talent and desire," said Peterson. "All the freshmen have the ability to perform in any of the races. Brianna Fowler will be impressive in the back and Lindsey Hall shows promise in the free and Katie Sambrano in the fly. Danica Mosley, Alyssa Solem, Jodi Wendt, and Anna Wulfehuhler have the ability to do very well in almost any of the strokes and races."
Peterson has liked what he's seen in the squads practices up to this point and feels they have a shot to be much more competitive than in years past.
"If we can stay away from injuries and work hard we can become more competitive and have many personal bests," he said. "We hope we can jump up the ladder to the point of winning many events and attacking some of the school records."
The team has nine regular season meets scheduled. They open up action on Tuesday, September 9th at Sioux City East at 4 P.M.
The Tornadoes lone home meet will be held Thursday, October 2nd against area rivals Spencer and Algona at the Buena Vista University pool.