With two returning district qualifiers back to lead the way, the Tecumseh swimmers began their season on Sunday night in Huber Heights at the Wayne Sprint Meet. The Arrows have been working hard to prepare for what coach Tom Stafford hopes is a successful season this winter.
“We have 19 kids on the team which is the most we have had since I have been here, and some of them are coming from age group programs so they are all not beginners like we are used to having,” Stafford said. “We do still have some beginners which is great, but it is nice to have some experienced kids who know how to swim.”
“Our goal is to get back to districts, we would like to get a relay to districts as we didn’t get one last year,” he added.
Tecumseh has nine returning lettermen coming back this season, highlighted by a pair of girls who advanced to the district meet last season, and look for further success again this season.
Julia Randenburg (50 Free and 100 Free) and Michelle Murray (100 Back) have a goal of reaching the districts again this year, knowing that getting to the state will be challenging due to the strength of the district they are in.
“Michelle has been swimming for awhile and swims backstroke for us,” Stafford said. “It’s a big deal to get to districts, we swim in one of the fastest districts in the state.”
As for Randenburg, she swims about everything according to Stafford.
“She is probably the top swimmer on our team as far as talent goes,” he said of his two-time district qualifier.”
Randenburg is focused on what she hopes will be a successful season for not only her but her team.
“I am excited to have new teammates on my team and for us to improve from last year,” she said. “D1 state is kind of far out of reach, but we want to get back to districts and improve our placing.”
While Stafford has some outstanding swimmers, he is most proud of what these kids are accomplishing out of the pool.
“What I am most proud about is what all of these kids do in the classroom,” the coach added. “Swimming is just a venue for me to help them out. But I really like our strong academic team. We have had academic all-americans and all-state swimmers in the past. I want to continue that tradition.”
The remainder of the returning letterwinners include Logan Back, Alex Kennedy, Lane Brents, Chace Vunkannon, Emma Arndts, Alexis Lewis and Katelyn Pelfrey.