Summit swim and dive team hyper-focused on achieving personal goals in the pool

Aila Harmala competes in the 100-yard butterfly event during the Summit Invite swim and dive meet at Summit High School in Breckenridge on Dec. 17.
John Hanson/For the Summit Daily News

The Summit High School girls swim and dive team is striving to chase after personal goals this season.

After qualifying three relays and six individuals to the 4A state swim meet last season, head coach Jenny Wischmeyer hopes to send more girls this year.

The Tigers have a wide range of talent with over 40 athletes listed on the roster. Making up around a quarter of the roster, 16 freshmen are swimming or diving for Summit.

“With the new freshmen, so many of them come with experience,” Wischmeyer said. “… I am really excited to see what the freshman can do. It is really exciting to just see them that first week of practice and later in January.” 

The Tigers will also return a fair amount of athletes to this year’s roster, many of whom helped the team to excel to state qualifiers last season. Wischmeyer is hopeful that athletes like Ashley Leidel, Aila Harmala, Olivia Lyman, Izzy Rowe, Kaslo Bocksch and Allie Koonce can help push each other to personal bests in the pool, which will then translate to state qualifiers. 

“From 2016 to 2020, we had a group of six to eight girls that were really motivated and driven in both practices and meets to perform,” Wischmeyer said. “I feel like that is what we got again this year. We have like eight girls that are pushing each other in practice and are on that cusp of qualifying for state in individual events and relays.”

In order to help coach a large roster, Wischmeyer will rely on the help of Harry Canales and Hannah Anderson. Canales was recently hired onto the program and comes with expertise from coaching the Silverthorne Recreation Center’s Tsunami Swim Club.

Anderson will return as an assistant coach while balancing her course load from nursing school. Anderson graduated from Summit High School in 2020 after swimming all four years of her high school career.

“With having three different swim coaches meeting the needs of all the variety of swimmers on the team, I think that it is going to be awesome,” Wischmeyer said. “With 43 swimmers in the pool at one time with three coaches, that is going to allow us to get to everybody every day.”

Outside of Summit’s 43 swimmers, Holly Visser, Naya Rostad, Adie Micciulli and Marisol Campbell will make up the program’s dive team. The quartet will look to follow in the footsteps — or splash zone  — of 2022 Summit graduate Stephanie Horvath, who placed fifth at the state meet last year on the 1-meter diving board.

Wischmeyer says the team will also be aided by several competitive athletes who are inspired to have another successful sports season after helping Summit’s fall sports teams advance to the postseason. 

“Adaline Avery and Paige Wescott both qualified for state in cross-country for the first time in a longtime,” Wischmeyer said. “They are excited to be back in the pool.”

Above the new coaching changes and large roster, Wischmeyer is most excited to help coach her athletes to their own individual goals. Unlike other sports, swimming in many ways is both a team and individual sport.

While the team as a whole may have goals, it is very easy for a single athlete to work towards individual goals of their own.

“Whatever their personal goal is, I want to help them reach that goal,” Wischmeyer said. “The girls who really want to be pushed and challenged — I want to make sure that I am pushing and challenging them as much as I can while setting up an environment in practice that can really do that.”

With a little over a week of practice in the books, the Summit swim and dive team will continue to get in shape in preparation for its meet on Friday, Dec. 2, in Glenwood Springs.

Summit will host its first home meet of the season on Friday, Dec. 16, at Summit High School.

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