Panthers look to keep strong tradition going

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – The Plymouth girls swimming and diving team faces some rebuilding this season as the Panthers strive to keep a strong tradition going.

Head coach Mike Slagle will be looking for sophomores and juniors to step up and help fill the void left through the graduation of 18 seniors from last year’s squad which won the program’s 15th straight Eastern Wisconsin Conference title.

The Panthers have a nucleus of 15 returning letter winners to build around. The group is led by the team’s returning Division 2 state participants in senior Maddie Strutz and junior Anna Theisen. At state, Strutz competed in the 100-yard freestyle and the 400 freestyle relay, and Theisen was on the 400 relay team. Strutz finished eighth in the 100, and the relay took 11th.

PHS has three swimmers back from the 400 relay which took first in the EWC championships – juniors Nichole Bartzen, Lindsey Karczewski and Theisen. Junior Kayla Lentz was second in the EWC 100 butterfly and 200 individual medley.

Seniors Maddy Schmitt, Jaqueline Snow and Strutz were on the EWC-winning 200 medley relay.

PHS has one of its smallest teams in the last 20 years with 37 members, including nine newcomers.

“We have an outstanding group of seniors that will bring much experience to the table,” said Slagle who is in his 35th season at the helm.

“Many of our new swimmers and divers are very inexperienced and will take some time but I have confidence that they should give some of our veterans a run for their money. They are all working hard in the first few weeks to meet this challenge.”

The coach said hard work and staying healthy are the main keys for the team to have success.

“I’m very optimistic. We have great senior leadership this year. We will not be as strong as we have been in year past but the girls we have are working hard to carry on the traditions passed on to them,” said Slagle.

Slagle pointed out his top goals for the season:

“Have personal bests, have fun, continue our EWC string of wins and send as many to state as possible.”

Slagle said the younger swimmers and divers need to step up and challenge each other if the team expects to get people to state.

Slagle expects a competitive EWC.

“This year’s meet will be much closer than in past years, due to tha graduation of our class of 2013 [season]. All of the teams should bring some possible medal contenders. We cannot count anyone out,” he said.

PHS finished 5-0 in EWC dual meets and 9-1-1 overall last season. The Panthers outscored second-place Kiel, 174-80, in the league meet.

Sept. 11 – Grafton & WB West, @ WB
Sept. 18 – Port Washington, here
Sept. 20 – @ Port Washington Invite
Sept. 25 – Kiel & Kohler Triad, here
Sept. 27 – Panther Invitational, here
Oct. 9 – Two Rivers, here
Oct. 11 – @ Sheboygan South Invite
Oct. 18 – Small School Invite, @ Shorewood
Oct. 23 – Kohler Triad & Chilton, @ Chilton
Nov. 1 – EWC Meet, @ Chilton
Nov. 7 – Diving Sectional, TBA
Nov. 8 – Swim Sectional, here
Nov. 14 – State Meet, @ Madison



Seniors – *Jeni Birenbaum, *Amy Holec, *Maddy Schmitt, *Amanda Smith, *Jacqueline Snow, *Maddie Strutz and Ali Van Ells.

Juniors – Karly Adamson, Michelle Arnold, *Nichole Bartzen, Meghan Bishop, *Lindsey Karczewski, *Caitlyn Klemme, *Kayla Lentz, Lily Marcom, Grace McCreedy, *Abby Nicholson, Sara Reno and *Anna Theisen.

Sophomores – Savannah Arneson, Lauren Bermke, Jordan Doherty, Olivia Honeck (diver), Allison Horner (diver), *Julia Marshall, Hannah Mc- Farlin, Gwendolyn Nytes (diver), Allison Pieper, *Katherine Richart, Kayla Schwibinger (diver) and *Delaney Scudella.

Freshmen – Katy Coley, Kirsten Lockwood, Brianne Roy, Logan Schreiber, Lexi Timm and Morgan Walcott. *_ =_ _ R_e_tu_r_n_in_g_ _ le_t_te_r_ w_i_ n_e_r._______

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