PAXTON – According to head coach Alex Goudy, about 100 swimmers will swim for the Paxton Aquatic Wildcats this summer.
"We’ve got a lot of new people this year," Goudy said. "I don’t really know what to expect yet."
Of the newcomers, some are in the ages 15-18 group.
"I’ve got some 15-18 kids that haven’t swam before, so I’m anxious to see what they can do," Goudy said. "I always get a lot of new little kids. It’s kind of fun working with the little kids after being in high school as a teacher. It’s kind of nice having the little kids for a change, but I still enjoy working with the other kids, too."
One of the high-school aged newcomers is Christian Denam, who will enter his sophomore year at Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School next fall after playing football and wrestling during his freshman year.
"I’m interested to see what he does," Goudy said. "We just need to work with him – critique his strokes a little bit."
The Wildcats will have some returning swimmers as well, including age 15-18 boys Keegan Lantz, Austin Sanders, Jonathan Muller and Brady Barfield.
""I know they’re (swimming) to stay in shape for football and cross country," Goudy said. "It’s great to have them."
Girls Olivia Frichtl, Kalli Goudy and Kirra Lantz are returning as well.
Last year, Frichtl had a second-place finish in the 50-meter breaststroke at the Central Illinois Swim Conference Meet. Lantz, meanwhile, is going to be in her freshman year at high school next fall.
"I’m looking to see good things from (Kirra Lantz) this year because she’s really slimmed down and gotten stronger," Goudy said.
Bailey Bruns should be able to stand out in the ages 9-10 girls group, Goudy said.
"She’s a heck of an athlete," Goudy said. "She should be really tough in the 9-10 age group this year.
The Wildcats will start their season on Saturday, June 18, at Gibson City against the Gibson Area Cyclones.
"They’ll be tough because they’ve got a bunch of kids that swim year-round in Bloomington," Goudy said. "They’ve gotten a lot stronger over the last couple of years because of that."
Paxton was scheduled to have its home opener against Watseka, but the meet was canceled due to Watseka forfeiting its season. The Wildcats, according to Goudy, may instead have an intrasquad meet on that day instead.
The Wildcats will host Danville on June 29. That was originally supposed to be a triangular meet between Paxton, Danville and Hoopeston, but, along with Watseka, Hoopeston forfeited its season.
Paxton will be at home again against Monticello on July 9.
The Wildcats will then compete at Rantoul on July 13 and host Milford on July 16 before going back to Rantoul on July 30 for the Central Illinois Swim Conference Meet.
In total, Paxton is scheduled to compete in three home meets versus three on the road.
"We like having home meets because we have so many kids and I can’t take everybody to the away meets because not every team will run a bunch of exhibition meets like we do," Goudy said. "We run a ton of exhibitions because we want everybody to swim. It’s justfun to see everybody get better as the year progresses."
PAXTON AQUATIC WILDCATS
June 18 – at Gibson City
June 29 – vs. Danville
July 9 – vs. Monticello
July 13 – at Rantoul
July 16 – vs. Milford
July 30 – at Rantoul (conference meet)