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West’s depth could lead to repeat MVC title

North Liberty Leader
IOWA CITY– Experience is on the side of the West High Women of Troy as they take to the pool this fall. Coach Robert Miecznikowski returns 14 of 17 state qualifiers from last year and enjoys being three athletes deep in all events with 54 swimmers and divers on the team this year.
Back for 2013 are Alex Aaberg (diving), Megan Buitindorp (relays), Meredith Cullen (relays), Eveline Dowling (relays), Becca Hilmer (diving), Alison Hsu (relays), Erica Hsu (relays, 200 IM, 100 Fly), Sarah Ritchie (200 IM, 100 Fly), Ariel Roghair (relays, 100 Back), Jasmine Roghair (relays, 200 and 500 freestyle), Natalie Shoultz (relays, 200 and 500 freestyle), Sophie Shoultz (relays, 200 and 500 freestyle), Jacintha Thomas (diving) and Lilian Zhu (relays).
Four freshmen, Katie Pigge, Elaina Martz, Amy Yan and Cameroon Cooke join the varsity ranks this season as well. Pigge will help out with the 100 Fly and relays, Martz will contribute to the sprints and relays, Yan will fill a spot in the 100 breast while Cooke will add to the 200 and 500 freestyle events as well as the relays.
For all the depth and experience the team will miss graduate Savannah Butler. Butler was a State Meet 2nd-place finisher in the 100-meter breaststroke and Miecznikowski said, “she will be hard to replace.” Last year the Women of Troy claimed the MVC divisional championship, regional championship and placed tenth overall at the state meet.
Cedar Falls, the coach said, is the toughest team in the conference this season. In addition, “(Cedar Rapids Kennedy) has a deep and strong group of athletes as well.” Miecznikowski predicts the Cougars will be his team’s toughest opponents.