Deerfield Swim Team Testing the Waters - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Deerfield Swim Team Testing the Waters

January 16, 2007

Albany -- Deerfield-Windsor is in just its second season of fielding a full swim team, but is turning in some big results.

The Knights won their first two meets of the year, and set six records while placing second at a meet this past weekend.

Deerfield is hosting a GISA competition Friday, and it should be a great chance for the Knights to get their feet wet before the state championships.

Swimming is a bit of an unknown at Deerfield Windsor School, but that's changing.

Senior captain Brooke Withers says, "People didn't know who we were. Coaches were coming up and asking about us. People were impressed."

Kelley Stiegal adds, "In South Georgia swimming is not one of the big sports people think about, but people just hear about the meets, and then they want to come support us, and that really helps."

Lorraine Withers started the Knights program.

"This is the second year Deerfield has had what I would call an official team," says coach Withers.

And Withers says it's not easy with a new team.

"We get a lot of kids who have never swam before," says Withers, "so we're breaking down the strokes, which is high-technique, and trying to get them comfortable in the water. I'm lucky, the assistant coach Martin Garcia is nationally ranked. We have Wendy Donan, who is our distance coach, so it's a big time commitment from a lot of folks."

Deerfield now has 21 swimmers on the team, up from just a couple two years ago, and Withers has high hopes for the season.

"I've got a girls relay team that should be state champions," says coach Withers. "I've got a JV boy that could possibly be a state champion in one or two events, and I've got a couple JV girls that are potential state champions."

The senior captain Stiegal adds, "We've been placing in some of the major meets in Atlanta, showing people who we are, and standing up and saying we can swim just as fast as some of the northern schools."

The Knights host a five team meet Friday at Darton College beginning at 4:30 pm.

The State Tournament is January 26th and 27th at Riverside Academy in Gainesville.

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