Renee Miller's voice turned hoarse last week as the Fenwick girls' swim coach was forced to talk over the den of her team, a squad more than likely chattering about its potential to trump last season's success. With four of her top six finishers back this year, Miller may not have to do a lot of talking.
From the impressive group that qualified for State in 11 of the 12 events last year, the Friars return Meghan Barron, Alison Pavlik, Keely Baldwin, Amy Krzesmienski, and Kaitlin Kysiak.
While it's still early to tell where everyone will fit, Miller said, it's expected that Pavlik will again compete in the 100 and 200 freestyle events. The junior qualified for State in the 200 last season, and nearly qualified in the 100. Other possible combinations Miller alluded to was Krzesmienski taking on the butterfly and Barren swimming breaststroke. The individual medley responsibilities may fall to Baldwin, who swam the event at State last season.
"We're still working out the details on where we want people, but it should come together soon," Miller said.
Pavlik and Barron were members of last season's 200 freestyle relay, which placed 11th at State. Barron also helped out Baldwin and returning senior Farren Rixter in the 200 medley relay at State last year. The group finished 14th.
Christine Romano, Erin Leary, Sylvia Knap and Trisha Osmolak are also expected to make a significant impact this season, as is Miller's freshman group. Katie Tynan, Mary Claire Bresnahan, and Morgan Bonk are just a few of the newcomers on varsity this season.
Miller anticipates new diver Nora Kelly, a sophomore and former gymnast, contributing significantly to the team this season.
"Diving was the only even we didn't qualify for State in last year, and I think Nora has the potential to help us out there," said Miller. "It's her first year diving but she been a gymnast, so that helps."
What has seemed to be the norm for the last few years, the Friars will battle powerhouses Rosary and Loyola for the top spot in the Metro Catholic Aquatics Conference (MCAC). Fenwick finished third last year in the MCAC, and second in 2003.
"We'll just have to see how the sectional shapes up and go from there," said Miller. "No matter what happens, I see us having fun this season."
Fenwick finished 20th overall at State last season. The team hosts Regina and Nazareth today (Wednesday) at 5 p.m.