St. Clair Shores
South Lake girls swim team hoping talent trumps depth
October 2, 2013
STERLING HEIGHTS — St. Clair Shores South Lake senior swimmer Krista Nannini is the elder statesman of the Cavaliers’ swim team.
Nannini, the team captain, is the lone senior in the group to return to a squad that won a Macomb Area Conference Silver Division title in 2012.
The team features just nine swimmers, first-year coach Amy Way said, including three from last year’s division champ.
“The numbers are a little bit lower,” said Way, whose team had a mark of 0-4, 0-2 MAC Silver at press time. “But we’ve got some talented kids. We’re just not as deep as last year, unfortunately.”
Nannini, who primarily swims the breaststroke, said the team’s record shouldn’t be the only reflection of how the Cavs have performed to this point. She said the rookies are improving every day and that the new swimmers must keep a strong work ethic.
“We’re doing all right,” Nannini said. “We lost a lot of girls due to them changing schools. The seniors we would have had all said they had so much going on because it’s senior year. So we’re just trying to teach the rookies the fundamentals, and we’re just trucking along trying to do the best we can.”
Way said the team performs best in distance races; she added junior Lizzy Albrecht is strong in the butterfly. Freshman diver Cassie Kury is extremely athletic, Way said, and competes when South Lake faces a team with a diver.
The Cavs’ coach said she has experimented by using Nannini, who also served as a team captain last season, in the 100-yard freestyle and 200 individual medley. Because of the small roster, Way has to use several swimmers in multiple events.
“I told the girls that even though we don’t have as many bodies as some of the teams we’ll compete against, that means we have to make up for that in speed and talent, and that’s what I’ve been trying to instill in them,” Way said. “I think we have some of the most talented kids in (the MAC Silver); we just don’t have as many as everybody else.”
Nannini said she sees South Lake as the underdog this season. With four league meets remaining at press time, the Cavs still have a chance to win the MAC Silver, and that’s something the senior swimmer is shooting for.
“If we can get back to where we were last year, and the rookies can work hard and be as great as they can, it’d be awesome (to win another division title),” Nannini said. “If not, I’m just hoping to have a fun year.”
Way said she’s pushing the girls to give maximum effort every day. She said paying attention to the little things would determine how far South Lake goes this season.
“Making sure they don’t make mistakes in practice that will translate into the meets,” Way said. “It’s really just a combination of hard work and focusing on the details, because that’s what’s going to be key to our success.”
South Lake will look to pick up a league win when it hits the water for a meet against Warren Fitzgerald, set for 6 p.m. Oct. 8 at South Lake.