South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Mehlville High boys’ swim squad is focusing on individuals’ achievement


By Stephen Glover
For the Call

Although the Mehlville Senior High varsity boys’ swimming and diving team may only have nine swimmers on this season’s roster, that doesn’t keep the Panthers from setting individual goals.

“We’re doing really good,” Mehlville head coach Tony Valentino said. “We won’t be able to fill up a lineup card, but I think that we’re going to go for individual achievement since we’ll have such a small team.”

Senior Peter Boucher will serve as one of the keys to the Panthers’ success this season. Boucher has the versatility to swim just about any event that he’s needed in.

“I think we’re going to win a lot of individual races with him,” Valentino said. “He wants to swim the 500, but that’s not set in stone. He can swim different events in different meets.”

Michael Foley is a freestyle specialist who will see action in the 50-yard, 100-yard and 200-yard events as well as time on the Panthers’ relays.

“He has a wonderful attitude,” Valentino said. “He’s also swimming much faster this year.”

Freshman Colin Shannon has been the biggest surprise this season and is proving to be an emerging star in the Panthers’ lineup.

“He may only be a freshman, but he’s already one of our best swimmers,” Valentino said. “He’s just an incredible swimmer, so I see him as being a star next year after Peter graduates. He’s really good, really fast and is really easy to coach.”

The Panthers will travel to Parkway North on Thursday, Sept. 20, for a 4:30 p.m. showdown with the Vikings.

The head coach has been working from the ground up since he took over Mehlville’s swimming and diving program two years ago, and he has seen a great deal of progress during that time.

The team also had a small but strong team last year. At the time, he said he felt the team could win meets if it could fill a lineup card.

“So in a meet we wouldn’t be able to fulfill all the requirements of meeting all the different strokes,” he said.

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