Just add water

Published 9:54 pm Tuesday, December 11, 2012

King’s Fork junior Hunter Lowe will help out the swim team in a variety of events this season including the 200 meter individual medley and 100 meter backstroke. He has also participated in the 200 meter medley relay and the 200 meter freestyle relay.

KFHS swim team continues to grow

King’s Fork enters the fourth year of its swimming program with a growing pool of swimmers to draw from.

The team has been growing steadily and this year features 49 swimmers total, 10 more than last season.

Last year, the girls’ team went 2-5-1 in the district, while the boys’ went 1-7, but the chances for improvement seem good as head coach Katherine Beodeker enters her second year with the team feeling more comfortable and assertive.

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“Last year was kind of like a test-out year,” she said. “I had to see what I was coming into. So, this year, I kind of hit them hard with practice. I knew a little bit more, the kids are (learning) what to expect.”

Though the boys’ team tasted victory only once last year, against Lakeland, it has already recorded a win this year, against Oscar Smith.

Beodeker explains that there is a special significance for her team to beat a team from a Chesapeake school, because those schools tend to feature year-around swimmers and offer a higher level of competition.

“So when they beat Oscar Smith, (Oscar Smith) didn’t have as many boys, but it was still a huge win for beating a Chesapeake team,” she said.

The main expectation Beodeker has for the team this year is that the kids will simply compete, whether it is with an opposing team in focus or a previous personal best.

“I don’t want to say that we’re going to lose going in, because that’s a bad attitude to have, but when we know the competition is a little higher, the goal is to improve our times,” Beodeker said.

For the boys’ team, Beodeker expects a standout year from junior Hunter Lowe, who swims the 200-meter individual medley and 100-meter backstroke.

She is also looking for sophomore Hugh Long to make important contributions, particularly on two different relay teams that have performed well. Long swims the 200-meter freestyle relay with Corbin Morse, James Hibbs and Lowe. He also makes up a 200-meter medley relay with Lowe, Morse and Kyshawn Merchant.

Hibbs, a senior, will compete in the 50-meter freestyle where Beodeker hopes he will qualify for regionals.

Andres Escalante is a 16-year old senior exchange student who drew significant praise from Beodeker for his performances given unfamiliar circumstances.

“He’s done really well for never having swam ever and just coming to America from Spain,” she said.

For the girls’ team, senior Samantha Barbour returns after having been the only swimmer at King’s Fork last year to qualify at the regional level. She did so in the 100-meter fly and 50-meter freestyle. Beodeker estimated that Barbour only missed states by a few places, and her goal is to make it there this year.

“Some of the girls want to make it, it’s just a matter of them putting in the time, and our district’s hard, and you have to place in the district in order to move on to regionals,” Beodeker said.

She is also keeping her eye out for two freshmen, Carlee Morse and Sonora Curliss.

“They look like they’ll progress into really good swimmers,” she said.

King’s Fork next faces Lakeland on Saturday at the Great Bridge Swim and Racquet Club.