By DAVID COOK
With overall numbers up and an improving talent level across the board, the Wayland girls swim team is off to a strong start this season, and it is looking for bigger things to come.
Wayland opened the swimming season in a big way, capturing the title at the Birds of Prey Invitational.
“There were nine teams at that, and we took first place,” coach Seth Beat said. “I was really impressed with that. The girls did well. We haven’t had a first-place trophy for the girls in a long time. Not that I can remember since I’ve been coaching. I’ve only been here for six years, but we haven’t gotten a first-place trophy in a long time. It was fun. It was a good morale booster. The girls loved it; they came in pumped up at school on Monday.”
The early success was not a big surprise for Beat and his swimmers, who came into the season expecting to have success.
“I knew that we had a lot of depth; I knew the numbers were there [heading into the season],” Beat said. “I was up in the air about the talent. Not that we didn’t know what to do, but I didn’t know how well we were going to do it. These girls are taking it head on. They’re in the weight room four days a week, were doing a dry land out on the football field once a week. The workouts, they are not as tough as I’ve written them in the past, but they are definitely a little more challenging. Not as many yards, but the way we are swimming it, it’s definitely a bit more demanding for them, and they‘re taking it head on. I‘ve got girls, the first time coming out of practice, tired, but it was an awesome practice, it’s great. It’s showing, we’re putting together a pretty good team this year.”
With improved numbers on the team, Beat is looking for the squad to take the next step.
“The last few years, it’s not that we haven’t been a good team, it’s always been a good team, it’s just the numbers are there,” Beat said. “So, yes we’ve been good, but now the numbers are there, so it just keeps getting better.”
The numbers are good throughout each grade. The Wildcats also have solid swimmers from the senior class down through the freshman class.
Sophomore Sam Postmus leads the way in the 200 IM, where she has set a new school record this year.
“All my seniors are very good swimmers and point scorers,” Beat said. “Juniors, we’ve got Sydney Hooker. Sophomores, I’ve got Gabby Gray and Greta Barger. Bri Holdul, Lynsey Corner, I’m probably forgetting a lot, Emma Parker, I mean we’ve got a huge sophomore class and 90 percent of them to 100 percent of them are always scoring points. We’ve also got some top freshman, Hayley Hop, TJ Baatjes.”