The 2020-21 season will be a rebuilding one for the Miami Trace High School swim team, according to Coach Katie Kasberg.
Kasberg has only been coaching the Miami Trace swim team since their 2018-2019 season, but she has been coaching swim in some form for 20 years both through schools and the YMCA.
“I enjoy helping swimmers develop skills and strength, and positive character traits like persistence, integrity and sportsmanship,” explained Kasberg via email. “As a coach I work to develop well-rounded swimmers who can confidently compete in any event regardless of their specialty. I work as an art teacher during the day, and during the swim season I spend most of my evenings at the pool where I coach swimmers on the Y team and high school teams, ranging in ages from 4-18 years old.”
The season this year will be one of rebuilding as the Miami Trace swim team lost eight seniors to graduation last year.
“We do have a number of returning swimmers as well as a few new faces,” wrote Kasberg. “We have been training since October 30, and they are working hard to get ready for competitions.”
Strong returning swimmers to the team this year includes lone senior Debbie Abare and junior Keely McBride.
Abare is in her second year on the team. Her brother, Isaac, graduated last year and now swims for Wilmington College. Abare swims freestyle and backstroke and is a great asset to the A relay teams at meets, according to Kasberg.
McBride is returning from last year’s District qualifying relay with her eyes set on the 100 backstroke record.
“Sophomore Christian Rossiter is looking good to take down both the 200 and 500 yard freestyle records this year,” wrote Kasberg. “We have a strong crew of juniors and sophomores that are working to step up this year and fill the shoes left behind by the graduating class.”
Along with strong returning swimmers are six new faces to the team: Neo Lehr, Caleb Bowers, Alexa Streitenberger, Kaley Moser, Kaiden Howard and Mia Dickson.
“What a year to come out for something new, right? This year we have fewer new faces than what we usually see,” explained Kasberg. “They are working hard and learning quickly. Swimming is much more difficult to get started in than most people realize. There is a lot of technique involved in swimming each stroke efficiently, and there are muscles to build for swimming that don’t get used as much in land activities.”
Although the team goal is to take more swimmers to the District meet this year as long as the season goes as well as it did last year, Kasberg explained she is looking forward to rebuilding the lineup and watching new stars emerge this season.
Not only is there a team goal but there are a few individual goals so far. Those goals includes the following, according to Kasberg:
– McBride is chasing down the 100 backstroke and 100 freestyle records.
– Freshman Brianna Thompson is coming to the Miami Trace team from the YMCA swim program and hopes to capture a few new records this year — starting with the 100 yard breaststroke and butterfly records.
– Rossiter is looking good to capture some distance and mid-distance freestyle records.
For the last several years, the Miami Trace High School swim team and the Washington Court House swim team have practiced together. According to Kasberg, each school has worked out a schedule with the YMCA to use the pool and together that gives the teams a 2-hour block of time to work with.
“We used to just combine both teams and run one long practice daily. The benefit of this was more time in the water for everyone, and a strong bond between the two teams. We are really more like one big family than rival teams. This year, due to distancing guidelines, we have to reduce the number of athletes in the pool at the same time, and with the approval of the schools and health department, have split groups into two pods. This means less practice time for each athlete, and less time together, but allows for more space, and hopefully reduces the risk of having to quarantine an entire team at any point,” wrote Kasberg.
Not only are the practices affected but so is spectatorship.
“We also won’t be able to have any spectators on deck during our meets, again due to the distancing requirements and the amount of space at the facility. On the plus side, this means we’re going to put our meets up on Facebook Live so even people who wouldn’t normally be able to come out to watch the meet will be able to see it from the comfort of their own homes,” wrote Kasberg.
For both the Washington team members and the Miami Trace team members, Kasberg explained, “I’d like to encourage the community to watch our meets online this season. Give our swimmers a shout-out when you see them. Like our Facebook page. These athletes are working hard as ever for the love of the sport. It’d be nice for them to hear that people are watching from a distance, even if they can’t be there in person.”