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RHS girls swimming coach Tami Carlson answers a few questions

Last year's team was one of the most successful the program has ever had, winning the True Team section, conference meet and section meet in the same year for the first time ever.

What was it about that group of swimmers that allowed them to have such a great season?

It was the perfect storm -- the veteran swimmers trained hard off season and came to the season in pretty good shape and the new team members filled in the gaps from the previous season. The girls came with strong leadership and tough goals and worked very hard to attain them. The captains did a great job of helping to keep the girls focused and motivated. The new swimmers adjusted to the team, found their niche and worked hard to be part of the section team.

What are some of your fondest memories from the season?

The team was pretty amazing last year, the girls all pulled together and really worked as a team. One fond memory was at a home meet we needed the girls to swim their best. Us coaches pumped them up, offered rewards, and told them they need to swim as fast as they can till it hurts and after one of Megan Wenman's swim she got out of the pool and swam her best time and she hurt, but was very proud of herself and really set the tone for the rest of the meet and the team to swim fast.

Are your returning swimmers on any kind of off-season training regimen, or swimming with clubs, or are they pretty much on their own until practice starts next month?

The swimmers are swimming club during off season and have some big meets coming up end of July and beginning of August. They will only have a week or so gap before season starts that they will have to swim on their own. I have seen some of their times from meets during the off season and it looks like they are working hard.

Megan Wenman will be back this fall after placing seventh in the 100 free and 12th in the 200 free as an eighth-grader. What has allowed her to have so much success so quickly and how much better do you think she could get over the next few years?

Megan is very fast and works very hard. She has a racing mentality and doesn't like to lose. She pushes herself every practice and every meet. I think over the next four years we will definitely see some school records broken from her.

What other returning swimmers will you be looking to as leaders in the pool this season?

Claire Tolan, Kennedy Erdmann, Megan Jelinski and Megan Hedtke are the captains for the upcoming season and they bring a very strong leadership with great work ethic and focus. We also have Olivia Johnston, Katrina Orthmann and Grace Herron with their work ethic and ability bring a strong silent determination to the team. The captains have been working over the summer on team building activities and goals and are very excited for this season to start.

Are there any other up-and-comers in the younger levels you're expecting to move up and contribute this year?

We had a very strong JV team last year and I am counting on some of the those girls to step up and become part of the varsity team to help fill in the gaps that we will be missing from the seniors. We also have some new swimmers that are strong and should contribute to team success.

What are your goals for this year's team? Do you expect to once again challenge in the conference and section?

We are hoping to do well in our section and be a strong competitor. Lakeville and Prior Lake will be tough and we will have to find our strongest line-up to compete against them. Our goal this year is to get the girls to train faster and work on becoming more efficient and stronger in the water. We have a strong coaching and weightlifting staff that is very committed to the success of the team.