Boys Varsity Swimming, Girls Varsity Swimming · Swimming Preview

special thanks to the Chronicle-Tribune’s Matt Wilson for writing this preview

Robert Burchell hopes that more numbers will equal more success for the Marion boys’ and girls’ swimming and diving teams.

There are 13 members out for the girls’ team and 22 members out for the boys’ team.

“We have a big freshman and sophomore class, so I can only see this getting bigger and better from here,” said Burchell, who is in his first year at the Giant helm. “We are hoping to win some meets this year, and hopefully the numbers we have out will allow us to win some meets this year.”

The Giant girls’ had their first meet of the season last Tuesday at South Adams. The first boy/girl meet of the season will be Thursday at Norwell.

While it was unable to win its season-opening meet, Burchell said he saw plenty of good things from the girls’ team at South Adams. The Giants had four new personal-record times from last year during their season-opening meet.

“The first meet went really well,” Burchell said. “We had about four PRs from last year so I have been really proud of the girls’ team so far.”

The girls’ team features all swimmers and no divers.

Kaylan Williams returns as the lone senior on the Giant girls’ team. She comes off a junior season where she qualified for the consolation races in the 50 freestyle and breaststroke during the sectional at Fishers. Williams opened her season by tying her PR in the 50 freestyle during the meet at South Adams.

“Kaylan has got a lot of good qualities and the kids really look up to her,” Burchell said. “She is just a good athlete and she also is a good student. I’m proud of what she has been able to do this season and she has just been a good senior leader.”

Williams was part of the 200 medley relay team that placed eighth at the sectional. Junior Anna Hussong also returns from that team. Joining Williams as returners from last year’s 400 freestyle relay team are Hussong and sophomore Elizabeth Wuertley.

Wuertley teamed with sophomores Sophia Kitts and Taylor Fleece to form the 200 freestyle relay team.

“We have a lot of girls coming back from last year and we have a new crop of girls this year that are going to help us out,” Burchell said.

The boys’ team has plenty of returners from last season.

Sophomores Sam Vermilion and Jordan Gillespie are back. Vermilion and Gillespie qualified for the consolation race in the butterfly at the sectional last year.  Vermillion dropped 16 seconds in the butterfly last year. Gillespie dropped 20 second in the butterfly last year.

Sophomore Drake Gunyon also returns. Gunyon qualified for the consolation race in the backstroke at the sectional last year. Gunyon dropped 20 seconds in the backstroke from the first meet to sectionals last season.

Sophomore Jacoby Drayton returns after qualifying for the consolation race in the breaststroke at last year’s sectional. Drayton dropped 23 seconds in the breaststroke last year.

Jalen Springer also returns for his sophomore season. Springer dropped 12 seconds in the 100 freestyle last year. Seven Gray returns for his sophomore season after dropping 18 seconds in the breaststroke last year. Dante Whitton returns for his sophomore season after dropping six seconds in the 50 freestyle last year.

“I’m really excited about the boys’ team this year,” Burchell said. “We have some new guys and the guys we have returning are the best of the best. We have got some good swimmers and they have been working hard during practice.”