Perry’s Swim team are ready to dive into the season

: Cesar J ToledoSports
Perry’s Swim team are ready to dive into the season

At the McCreary Center in Perry, Ia., you can always find people of all ages splashing around the pool having a grand old time. For a select few, being in the pool is much more than hanging with friends.

This year the Perry High School girls swim team is working harder than ever putting everyone on notice that they are doing a lot more than just taking a dip.

A team comprised of just seven athletes are confident that they’ll be causing some big waves this season. Head coach Jean Dowd has had her swimmers preparing for the start of the season for a couple of weeks using a number of different techniques that she feels will give her season a competitive edge.

“Aug 10th until school started we had three hours of practice five days per week starting with the 1st hour being dryland training and 2 hours of practice on Saturdays followed by a team unity breakfast,” she said. “Now that school has started they train a little over two hours per day Saturday, Monday through Thursday and one hour on Friday (So they can attend football games and be in the band).”

There is undeniable energy oozing from the team as this season the Bluejays will be venturing in uncharted waters. The team will finally be able to compete in a meet that was out of reach years prior.

“The ability to enter in the final relay, the 400 Freestyle Relay is a meet changer for this team,” said Dowd. “Not only in the points we can score but how it creates a more positive attitude for the team.”

Already this season, the lady Jays have competed in a couple of events. On August 25 they took on both the Des Moines Hoover and North High School teams, which earned them their first win of the season. Two days later they faced Des Moines Lincoln and Algona High School. The end result was not what the Jays had hoped for but the girls remained in high spirits, which is something that coach Dowd consistently preaches. “I motivate the swimmers by having them well-prepared for each meet and personally having a positive attitude,” she said. That positivity and work ethic will eventually be tested when the girls compete at the Polar Bear Invitational at Des Moines North High School. Coach Dowd has circled that meet on her calendars as a must-see event. She is confident that her team will shine and give the school something to cheer about. “At any given time I think all of our swimmers will step up to help the team,” she said. “Breanna Penenger and Vivian Gonzalez have both had solid times and placings so far. Breanna’s distance event times are showing strong progress as well as Vivian’s backstroke. The first-year high school swimmers have made amazing progress so far: Ridnour has dropped time in the 50 free and 100 Breaststroke, Ackerman has dropped time in the 100 freestyle. Sadie Whitfield’s time drops in relay events are helping the team.”

There are definitely some high expectations to win this season, but for this team just winning meets doesn’t define a successful season. “A successful season is not just the ability to win a meet. The team needs to maintain a strong academic focus combined with practices and with a positive attitude develop each person to their potential as student-athletes,” Dwod said.

Fall Schedule: All Varsity Games are subject to change. Always check the school’s website for details.

9/8/15 Boone/Algona Boone 6:00 PM Swimming

9/12/15 Ames Invitational Ames 11:00 AM Swimming

9/17/15 Fort Dodge Invitational Ft. Dodge 5:30 PM Swimming

9/24/15 Indianola McCreary Center 6:30 PM Swimming

9/26/15 Polar Bear Invitational DM North 10:00 AM Swimming

9/29/15 DM East McCreary Center 6:30 PM Swimming

10/6/15 Grinnell Grinnell 7:00 PM Swimming

10/8/15 Des Moines North/Hoover DM North 5:30 PM Swimming

10/13/15 Atlantic/DM Roosevelt McCreary Center 6:30 PM Swimming

10/19/15 Carroll/Algona McCreary Center 6:30 PM Swimming