Building for the future
The young Marshfield girls swim team shows steady improvement
By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD — There are no seniors on this year’s Marshfield girls swim team, but that is not holding these young Tigers back.
A group of five juniors and 10 sophomores has given the Tigers depth as well as great promise for the future.
Coming off a hard-fought Wisconsin Valley Conference dual meet loss at home to Wausau West on Tuesday, the Tigers are now 1-4 in conference duals with one remaining against first-place Stevens Point on Oct. 15. However, first-year head coach Mary Holbrook is beaming with pride about how far this year’s squad has come.
“It’s a young team, but they are doing well,” Holbrook said. “The girls are trying hard, working out every day. We’re giving them a hard workout, and they are a bunch of good kids. They are doing their best.”
Junior Elizabeth Holbrook (200 individual medley, 100 breaststroke) and sophomores Megan Donahue, Sophie Koehn (200 freestyle, 100 backstroke), and Ryenne Zee (50 and 100 freestyle) have been the top swimmers for Marshfield this season, earning multiple first-place finishes both in individual races and combining in the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays. The group won six individual races and both relays in the Tigers’ lone WVC dual win over Merrill on Sept. 10.
Adding depth and points at duals and invitational meets Marshfield has taken part in this season are juniors April Read, Madi Hall, Grace Hilbelink, and Malina Barker and sophomores Valerie Kushnir, Elizabeth Lecker, Erika Roeglin, Elise Ashby, Megan Nordbeck, Taylor Ferch, and Melissa Roberts.
All have contributed in multiple events and relays throughout the season, which has included a dual meet win at La Crosse, a third-place finish at the Tomahawk Relays, and a seventh-place finish at the Chippewa Falls Invitational.
A number of freshmen are competing for the Tigers as well, giving Marshfield a large base to provide for the future.
“We’re giving them a lot more yardage, 3,000 to 8,000 yards a day, and their times are dropping,” Mary Holbrook said. “Are they winning? No, but that doesn’t mean anything. They are improving.”
In the three weeks leading up to the Wisconsin Valley Conference Meet on Oct. 29 at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and the WIAA Division 1 sectional at Hudson on Nov. 7, it is all about continued improvement for the Tigers.
“They are dropping their times, which is the most important thing,” Mary Holbrook said. “We want the times to drop even more, and maybe a relay or some of our strong swimmers make it to state. Who knows? You can only hope.”
Paul Lecker is publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com, a contributor to Hub City Times Sports. You can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.