Young Chippewa swimmers look to make a splash in 2017

Manistee’s 2017 girls swimming team: Front row, from left: Amber Miller, Jaelyn Thomas, Madison Miller, Gracey Anderson and Gracie Thompson. Middle row, from left: Haley Johnson, Hayley Anderson, Lauren Mendians, Ginger Hiipakka and Reanna Sutter. Back row, from left: Erin VanderWeele, Hayley Harland, Anna Lee and Megan Huber. (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

Manistee’s 2017 girls swimming team: Front row, from left: Amber Miller, Jaelyn Thomas, Madison Miller, Gracey Anderson and Gracie Thompson. Middle row, from left: Haley Johnson, Hayley Anderson, Lauren Mendians, Ginger Hiipakka and Reanna Sutter. Back row, from left: Erin VanderWeele, Hayley Harland, Anna Lee and Megan Huber. (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

MANISTEE — Manistee girls swimming is going to be young, but youth won’t be an excuse as they prepare for another run towards the state finals.

The Chippewas will come into the season with several freshman, but coach Corey Van Fleet expects them to be able to step in and fill in. 

“They have a lot of numbers (coming up from the middle-school level), but we have seven or eight freshman that will come along as we go. By the end of the season they’ll be fine,” he said. “They’re young, but they’re talented.”

Among those coming up to the varsity level are Lauren Mendians and Gracey Anderson, who will each jump right in. Mendians will swim a little of everything but will focus on the backstroke and freestyle, and Anderson will swim the backstroke and the butterfly.

“We’re going to have a pretty good team,” Van Fleet said. “We’re young, but we’ve replaced the kids that we’ve lost. We have a couple of freshman that can swim as fast as the seniors that went out.”

The team isn’t all just made up of freshman though with three girls who swam at the state finals and one who was there as an alternate being back as seniors. Anna Lee, Haley Harland, Madison Miller and Hayley Anderson are the four seniors who will each all be big parts as they put the relay teams together. 

“We have four seniors that are well schooled. This is their sixth year in our program,” Van Fleet said.

He also expects junior Jaelyn Thomas to be a big part of the time and for Amber Miller to be able to pick the team up points in the diving event as conference play rolls around.

“We have a couple of juniors that are pretty good that’ll be back. Jaelyn Thomas will do a great job,” Van Fleet said. “Amber Miller has vastly improved in her diving. We’re looking forward to it.”

The Chippewas will open the season on Tuesday, Aug. 22 at Grand Rapids Northview. 

avatar

Posted by Brian Fogg

Brian is the sports writer for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3110 or bfogg@pioneergroup.com.

Leave a Reply