New swimmers for Mehlville Panthers making ‘great strides’ in practice

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By Lucas Irizarry, Staff Reporter

The Mehlville swimming and diving team is smaller than most opposing teams, but head coach Tony Valentino said the roster is promising and has “made great strides” in the first week of practice.

In high school swimming competitions, swimmers can only compete in four events per meet, and the Panther’s roster often consists of less than 10 swimmers. Valentino said as the underclassmen on the team continue growing and learning, he expects to begin seeing better results all around.

“Our weakness is going to be our underclassmen because they’re still learning some of the harder strokes like the butterfly and breaststroke,” Valentino said.

Team captain Colin Shannon came up just short of qualifying for state last season, and Valentino said he hopes to see him get there this year.

“He’s a really good swimmer in all four strokes, and I think he’ll do well by going to state this year,” Valentino said. 

Valentino said the upperclassmen are always willing to help out and teach younger swimmers and that makes it a pleasure to coach them.

The Panthers open up their season at Affton Sep. 7.