Panthers look to make a splash this year

Head coach Keri Kern believes a number of members of Mehlville Senior High School's swimming and diving teams show promise this season. Bill Milligan photo

Head coach Keri Kern believes a number of members of Mehlville Senior High School’s swimming and diving teams show promise this season. Bill Milligan photo

By STEPHEN GLOVER

While the Mehlville Senior High School boys’ swimming and diving team may lack the numbers to be competitive at the dual-meet level, head coach Keri Kern looks at each season as being a building block to the construction of a competitive program.

“We’re just rebuilding and taking everyone we can get,” Kern said. “I think that we’re looking to have more kids come out in the next week or so.”

Senior Nick Hilbert returns this season as the Panthers’ breaststroke specialist.

“Nick played water polo for us for the last two years,” Kern said. “I think he’s really taken a liking to swimming.”

Junior Mark Messler is another breaststroke specialist who’s made some improvement after just one year of competitive swimming.

“Mark was a brand-new swimmer last year,” Kern said. “He’s been making a lot of improvements since last season.”

Sophomore Mason Miller will see action in the 100-yard butterfly as well as the 200-yard individual medley.

“Mason is definitely one of our strongest swimmers returning,” Kern said. “He’s got a lot of potential and has really kicked it into gear this year.”

One swimmer Kern is looking forward to having on the team this season is freshman Joe Tuegel, who should swim the 100-yard breast and the 200-yard individual medley.

“I think that if anyone on the team will go to state, it will be Joe,” the Mehlville head coach said. “(I’ve) never taken someone from the boys’ team to state, which could be very exciting.”

Mehlville Swimming

Sept. 3 Oakville H 4 p.m.

Sept. 8 Eureka H 4:30 p.m.

Sept. 11 University City Relays A 4 p.m.

Sept. 12 Ladue Invitational A 9 a.m.

Sept. 15 Parkway C./U. City A 4:30 p.m.

Sept. 17 Lafayette A 4:15 p.m.

Sept. 22 Kirkwood H 4:30 p.m.

Sept. 24 Ladue A 4:15 p.m.

Sept. 29 Parkway South H 4:30 p.m.

Sept. 30-Oct. 1 Summit Inv. A 4 p.m.

Oct. 6 Marquette H 4:30 p.m.

Oct. 7 SLUH H 4:30 p.m.

Oct. 13 Lindbergh A 4:15 p.m.

Oct. 22 Rockwood Summit H 4:30 p.m.

Oct. 27 Westminster/Affton H 4:30 p.m.

Nov. 5-6 Conference A TBA