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Senior Saint swimmers sets sights on record book

For the past few seasons, Brandon Wilder has broken one Nansemond-Suffolk Academy swim record a year. But for 2005-06, that’s not going to be enough anymore.

“All of them!” grinned the junior Saint when asked which records he intended to break in the next season, which starts at home Dec. 2 (he’s already got the 200 individual medley and 500-freestyle records). “I’ve just got to work on the backstroke, because I’m not very good at it.”

Time at work won’t be a problem if coach Karen Norman has her way; the coach rushed her squad into the Suffolk YMCA last week, while NSA’s volleyball and cross-country squads were still finishing up their fall seasons.

“I’ve got 39 kids this year, and 15 boys, which is the highest in five years,” Norman said as her teams plowed the waves. “There’s 11 eighth-graders to build the team for the future.”

On the other end of the age spectrum, four NSA boys and girls are in their final year at NSA.

“I just want all the kids to improve,” Norman said. “We’re a young team, and it takes a lot more time. I want them to do well at states. We’ve got some strong swimmers.”

Last year, Wilder was the only Saint to medal n finish in the top eight n at state competition, as he came in fourth in both the 200-freestyle and 100-butterfly. Jade Bishop, Danielle Waller, Maggie Standing and Tess Smith (who has since graduated) were fourth in 200-free relay.

“I hope to at least get into the final eight at state in the 50- or 100-freestyle,” said senior Joey DiRenzo. He finished in the 30s in both individual races last year, but came within two places of state teaming with Wilder, Philip Brooks and Ryan Hanson in 200-free action.

“You want to end your career on a good note, and I’d like to swim at the Coast Guard Academy (he’s already been accepted), so that’s a little extra incentive.”