By John Raffel

Ionia swim coach Amy Fuller is impressed with the potential she has on this season’s team.

Highlights of 2018:  “We finished 3rd in the conference, our highest finish in 7 years.  We had 2 strong foreign exchange students, one of whom qualified for State in the 100 breaststroke. We had 4 all-conference swimmers. Five of our swimmers received Academic All Conference Awards & 4 of our swimmers earned Academic All State.’

Key athletes that left: “Graduated seniors Anna Winters & Aleyse Edwards. Both battled injuries for most of the high school career. However, they never complained; they worked hard; they were role models for others; they contributed to our team success at every meet.”

Key players for this year: “Courtney Lepien, captain (freestyle) bring leadership and experience to the pool. Calah Holman (sophomore) brings versatility and strength in training. Brynn Lepien (butterfly, IM) brings energy and speed. Madeline McGee in a new swimmer on the team with experience. Jillian Swinehart, 12, is also new to the team, but she will be one of our divers this year.”

Expectations: “We have a larger team than in recent years so I expect we will remain competitive.”

Strengths: “We will be able to have entries in every event this year; our strength will be our versatility.”

Things to work on: “With so many new swimmers to the team this year, we will need to work a lot on technique and race strategy.”

Conference: “There are several growing young teams in our conference, but I expect Williamston and Waverly will remain the top competitors.”