High school swimming competition for Wood River High School’s coed squad begins Saturday, Aug. 24 with the Jerome Invitational meet at Twin Falls City Pool.
This year’s fall season features seven meets, although none are home for Wood River in Hailey because of remodeling and construction at Blaine County Aquatic Center.
Led by first-year head coach Samantha Sutton, Wood River’s swimming team heads into its third year of interscholastic competition. Sutton, recently a multi-sport athlete at Wood River, replaces Ben Parker.
Sutton has coached the Blaine County Recreation District program for five years at the Hailey pool.
“I am excited to learn and grow with the team,” said Sutton, assisted by swimming/water polo coach Mark Neumann. “We have a healthy mix of veteran and new swimmers.
“We have a solid group of upperclassmen that has set an amazing example in and out of the water for our underclassmen. Our returning members hold an average 3.4 GPA and many of the upperclassmen are taking multiple AP courses.
“I’ve seen a lot of the younger team members come up through the BCRD program and I’m very excited to see them swim at the next level.”
This is the second season that the Idaho High School Activities Association (IHSAA) has officially sanctioned swimming as a fall sport with a state championship meet, set for Nov. 8-9 at Meridian YMCA.
Last fall, Wood River’s girls won another district title—the first under IHSAA sanctioning—and qualified 15 girls for state competition. The Wolverine girls led 12 teams at district and outscored Minico 137-80.
At the West Boise YMCA state competition, Wood River’s girls finished a strong fourth of 22 teams with 143 points behind Idaho State 4A champion Idaho Falls (181), Bishop Kelly of Boise (160) and Sandpoint High School (157).
Wood River has a strong girls’ junior class returning led by Maggie Deal, Taylor Dorland and Breann O’Leary, along with sophomores Charlotte Loomis and Dana Kriesien. Those girls contributed to Wood River district relay championships.
Deal led the girls’ individual finishers at state with third places in the 200-yard and 500-yard freestyle A Finals. Dorland, the district 100-yard freestyle champ, was fourth in the state 50-yard freestyle A Final and fourth in the 100 freestyle event, just ahead of fifth-place Loomis.
Led by senior Zach Deal, Wood River’s boys tied for ninth of 21 teams at the 2018 state meet with 50 points. Century of Pocatello (186 points) won by the slimmest of margins over Bishop Kelly (185.5).
This year’s Wood River team has 24 swimmers, 15 female and 9 male:
Head coach—Samantha Sutton (1st year).
Assistant coach—Mark Neumann (1st year).
Seniors, 12th grade (4)—Georgia Adams, Chris Davitt, Walter Kriesien, Nick Maumus.
Juniors, 11th grade (7)—Maggie Deal, Taylor Dorland, Molly Doyle, Brenann O’Leary, Sydney Smith, Anneka Thompson, Emily Walters.
Sophomores, 10th grade (9)—Olivia Adams, Larsen Bier, Mykelti Blackburn, Carter Busdon, Bridget Evans, Dana Kriesien, Charlotte Loomis, Maddox Nickum, Kayden Ratliffe.
Freshmen, 9th grade (4)—Ethan Hansen, Michael Hurd, Owen Stouffer, Alex Vallego.