The Milbank Area Lions Swim Team started its third winter swim season by expanding its roster to include swimmers ages 12 and under. “One of my team goals was to grow the winter program by opening it up to younger ages,” says head coach Jodi Street. Street, who is in her fifth year of coaching for MALST, says, “We gained seven swimmers this year in our 12-and-under group.”
Veteran swimmers Amaya Street, Savanna Osowski, and Will Karels will lead the team. “Those three have swum each winter since I started the winter team,” says Coach Street. “They are all leaders and do a great job pushing each other, cheering and supporting one another at practices and meets, and engaging with the younger swimmers in team activities and demonstrating drills or turns.”
The other high school swimmer this year is Jessica Van Peursem, who is a veteran of the summer team, but in her second season with the winter team.
Other swimmers include: Aiden Quintanilla, Isaac Graham, Elexia Quintanilla, Adison Pauli, Avery Schuneman, Logan Dexter, Brooke Hendricks, Bailee Hendricks, and Eliana Richardt.
According to Coach Street, “We start about a month behind all the other teams. Most winter swim teams begin practice in September, but MALST chooses to start a month behind that to accommodate the middle school and high school athletes who compete in a fall sport. By the time we hit the pool in October, it’s time to get after it.”
Coach Street says, “Goals in the sport of swimming tend to vary according to each athlete depending on their experience. Some of the younger kids need to improve stroke technique, stay active during the winter, and learn all four strokes. The more advanced swimmers are looking towards the Midwest Regional Time Standards with some hoping to achieve a sectional time.”
She says,”2020 is an Olympic year, which means sectional times have dropped and are quite fast. We need to condition hard. When we think we can’t do another drill, we need to do them and focus on the little details with starts and turns. Every tenth of a second will matter.”
This is the second year swimmers will see the prelim/final format at the winter state championship meet. “It is hard to practice that format when most meets are held as timed finals. We will focus on conditioning for the Watertown Meet in December and the Sioux Falls meet in January. These are both the prelim/final format,” concluded Coach Street
Schedule for the winter MALST team
November 15-17 – at Mitchell
December 7-8 – at Watertown
December 13-15 – at Sioux Falls
January 4-5 – at Aberdeen
January 18-19 – at Watertown
January 24-26 – at Sioux Falls
February 1-2 – at Brookings
There are no local meets held in Milbank during the winter season.