Lackey swimmers looking to make a splash
Seniors headline a small group with Lackey swimming
As one of numerous student-athletes on the squad who played a fall sport and then will play a spring sport, Lackey High School junior swimmer Calla Ziebell is looking forward to the Chargers upcoming winter swim season.
Ziebell, who played soccer for the school and plans to play softball again in the spring for the Chargers, is part of a solid group of returning Lack- ey swimmers looking to establish personal and team goals.
Last winter, Ziebell finished fourth in the girls 200-yard individual medley (2 minutes 45.45 seconds) at the Class 3A-2A-1A South Region championships, just miss- ing a berth at the state championships.
“I’m always looking to improve my times in the 200 IM and the 100 but- terfly,” Ziebell said after Thursday’s practice at Lackey. “My time at the regional meet last season was my best for the 200 IM. I just missed the cut for states by four-tenths of a second. So, my goal this year is to keep dropping time and make it to states.”
Last winter, Ziebell and teammates Lauren Herbert, Anna Elise-Bolton and Hannah Kershner combined to qualify for the 3A-2A-1A state championships in the 200 medley relay (2:21.64), but Herbert and Bolton have since graduated. So this winter it will be up to senior Courtney Kruchesky and junior Amelia Dudley to fill the void.
“You always have to know who is part of the relay with you,” said Ziebell, who also swims for Lackey head coach Jo Proctor during the summer with Indian Head of the Prince-Mont Swim League. “When I swim the leadoff, I want to go out fast and try and give
the other swimmers a chance. When I swim the anchor, I just jump in an go as fast as I can.”
Lackey senior Shaun Butler is the top returning Chargers swimmer this winter. Last sea- son he took third at the 3A-2A-1A South Region championships in the 100 free, but he later won the 100 backstroke (59.71 seconds) at the region championships and finished eighth (58.84) at the state championships.
Butler will also be leaned on heavily in the 200 medley relay and the 400 free relay, which finished second and third, respectively, in the regional cham- pionships last winter. But both relays parted with Zachary Will and Dylan Will to graduation, so Garrett Batchelor and R.G. Bolton will likely join Butler and Brett Culhane in those events.
“Our goals are still to get back to states,” said Culhane, who was the kicker for the Chargers football team this fall and plans to play lacrosse for the school in the spring. “Every meet we just want to drop time. We graduated some good swimmers, but we still have a good group back.”
Proctor, who will actually share the head coaching duties at Lackey with fellow first-year coach Stephanie SanFilipo after John Crawford relocated to an- other state, remains optimistic about this year’s squad.
“We’re really excited about the freshmen coming in,” Proc- tor said. “Most of the freshmen swam for me in the summer- time. One of my newer swim- mers is a senior who moved from Prince George’s County to Charles County. We don’t have many year-round swimmers. We have a lot of kids who compete in other sports, but they’re not one-sport athletes.”
Proctor noted that this year’s Chargers squad has several short-term and long-term goals, all of which are attainable and revolve more around physical and mental conditioning than simply wins and losses in dual meets.
“There were a lot of changes this season,” Proctor said. “We’re trying to keep the flow going. Coach Crawford built a great program here and we’re trying to keep that going. There are a few kids who had never played any sports before. Our long-term goals are just trying to keep everybody healthy. The season is a little bit longer, so keeping everyone healthy all the way through is a major goal.”
Lackey High School junior Calla Ziebell, pictured here competing in the 100 butterfly last winter, is looking to earn a spot in the 3A-2A-1A state championships in the 100 fly and 200 individual medley this season.
Senior Shaun Butler, the top returning Chargers swimmer this winter, will be leaned on heavily in the 200 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay, which finished second and third, respectively, at the Class 3A-2A-1A South Region championships last winter.