By Stephen Glover
For the Call
With an influx of seniors on this season’s squad, the Lindbergh High School girls’ swimming and diving team is looking to have a breakout season.
“We’re awfully excited about this year,” Lindbergh head coach Grant Gaumer said. “We have a lot of girls returning, so that should make a big difference for us this year.”
Senior Jennie Weaver returns this year as Lindbergh’s lone returning state qualifier from last season and will be one of the cornerstones of the Flyers’ relay teams.
“Jennie qualified for state in the 200-yard individual medley the last couple of years,” Gaumer said. “She was also the butterflier on our state qualifying relays as well.”
Both Kara Weiss and Grace Hunter will serve as the team’s captains this year. The senior duo have been important pieces to the puzzle of rebuilding the Flyers’ swimming and diving program.
“They have both put a lot of time and effort into the team,” Gaumer said. “Grace does a really good job with team building. Kara’s leadership on this year’s team is going to be invaluable.”
Karli Sewell returns for her senior season after appearing in the Flyers lineup as a sophomore. The 100-yard breaststroke specialist should be a contender for a top eight finish this year at the Missouri Class 2 state championships.
“Karli swam for us as a sophomore and took second in the 100 breaststroke at conference,” Gaumer said. “She took last year off to focus on training with her club team, and her fastest swim last year would have put her fourth or fifth at state. So she’s going to be a big addition to the team.”
Natalie Evans is another senior and distance freestyle specialist who should prove to be a valuable asset at this year’s conference championships.
“She’s been a four-year swimmer for us and has placed in the top eight at conference last year in the distance freestyle events,” Gaumer said. “Her coming back and contributing for us this year is going to be great.”
Freshman Molly Dorsey will see action in the I.M. and butterfly events this season. The Flyers head coach believes that she could also be a contender for scoring points at this year’s state championships.
“Molly is really versatile, but is a butterfly and individual medley swimmer,” Gaumer said. “As a freshman, she will hopefully be competing for a top 16 spot at state this year.”
Junior Bayley Helfrich is a sprint freestyle specialist that will provide a lot of speed in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle as well as the Lindbergh relay lineups.
“A sprint freestyler is something that we’ve lacked that last few years, and she’ll definitely fill a big need for us,” Gaumer
said. “We’re looking forward to being able to get some big scores in the sprint freestyle events as well as the relays.”
Seniors Emily Creek (diving), Sarah Dooling, Mackenzie Huffman, Alexis Klosterman and Minori Ubukata will also provide critical support during meets and the conference championships.
“This is a group that does a good job at working hard at practice, and they’re the ones that have grown with me as a coach,” Gaumer said. “We see this season as being the year that we can start to compete at a higher level and shoot for scoring some points at state.”