Grace McCormick

MAKING A SPLASH — El Molino swimmer Grace McCormick raced for the wall in the breaststroke event during a practice meet with Analy at Ives Pool on Feb. 28.

The 2020 high school swimming season is in full swing for the El Molino Lions, kicking off the year with a young group that is eager to improve.

Under returning coaches Taylor Ploy and Margaret Pederson, the Lions will field a roster of 13 athletes, some of whom are experiencing their first year of high school competition.

“This is a rebuilding year, with mainly freshmen and sophomore swimmers and only two juniors,” Ploy reported. “Our biggest goal of the season is to work on stroke development and building the team back up after losing so many seniors. Most of the kids who joined our team didn't even know how to swim when they started, so you can imagine that makes the learning curve pretty steep,” she added. 

Key returnees for the Lions include Alina Saunders, Ardenne Chevrolet, Deian Spinean, Drew Giacomini, Emma Claire Feige, Grace McCormick, Jordyn Wilson, Kaeden Dick, Kristina Cahn, and Siena Montiel. First year swimmers are Selena Ponnaz, Mackenzie Nultemeier and Lisette Gambol.

In need of support

Like many high school teams, the Lions are in need of resources to fund the season and are reaching out to local businesses or anyone that would like to help.

“Since most of the swimmers are new, they show up with little to no equipment,” Ploy noted. “Swimsuits cannot be passed from student to student so our costs are fairly high. We are writing grant proposals to local charity organizations and working various events, but any donations from the community would be amazing.”

The Lions have already logged a practice meet with Analy on Feb. 28 and will be back in action on March 12 in a dual meet with visiting Cardinal Newman at Ives Pool.

The remaining schedule is as follows: March 26 at Piner, April 9 at Rancho Cotate, April 16 at Healdsburg and the NBL Championships on  May 1 and 2 (site TBA). 

Next week: a look at the Analy Tigers.

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