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Green girls swim team targeting another league title

11/14/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

GREEN — The Green High School girls swim team has been practicing since Nov. 1, and head coach Mike Lazor said he likes what he has seen so far.

“We’ve had two weeks of good practice under our belts,” he stated. “November’s always a grind, and I know they’re anxious to get to their dual meet schedule to defend their Suburban League championship. Our girls tied with a really talented, well-coached Copley team last year. We’re looking forward to our meet this year. We swim against Copley early, on Dec. 11, so it should be an exciting meet.”

According to Lazor, the most impressive thing about Green’s swimmers during the preseason has been their resilience.

“They go an hour in the morning and two hours after school,” he said. “For example, we did a lot of sets off the block today, and we really just got their muscles fatigued. They’re really just getting after it. I’ve had a couple of girls get personal bests just off of block sets at the end of practice, so that’s going to be exciting come dual meet season.”

Last year, the girls swim team finished 6-4 in dual meets.

“We ended up in third place at the sectional championship, and we scored the most points we’ve ever scored there,” Lazor said. “We took eight girls to districts, which is the highest count we’ve taken there, and one girl to the state. That was our first state qualifier since 2008. She ended up fifth in the state in the 100 breaststroke.”

The state qualifier last year was Kennedy Herbert, who is a senior this season.

“We’re looking for more great leadership from her this year,” the coach said. “She’s worked really hard in the offseason. She’s really been dedicated. She got that bug of going to state, and she’s just all excited that she finally made it. It was her first time making it to state, and she ended up being on the podium. When one girl tastes that state level, I think the other ones kind of buy into that and think, ‘Hey, we can do that, too.’”

Lazor said the team lost “four good seniors to graduation” following last season.

“It’s always hard to lose that leadership at the top, but it’s great to know we have a good junior class that’s going to step up into that role,” he said. “And I have six senior girls on the team this year, and their leadership has really shown up in the water. They are grinding out, and only good things can happen with that.”

In addition to Herbert, Green’s seniors this year are Kennedy Walker, Taylor Elrod, Katie Kussow, Megan Leibensperger and Claire Dolan.

“They have a lot of experience,” the coach said. “They know the ups and downs of the swimming season. They keep it light, and they keep the others focused on the task at hand, and that’s winning a league championship and getting as many qualifiers as we can to the sectional level and the district level and then to state. The great thing about our team is that they really work hard and they are close — like a family. They really lean on each other in these tough practices, and they pull each other through. It’s a neat thing to see.”

Green’s season will begin with a tri-meet against Canton Central Catholic High School and Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy Dec. 2 at 5 p.m. at Myers Lake YMCA.

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