IRON MOUNTAIN - High school swim season begins this afternoon in Marquette County with the Kingsford co-op swimmers competing against Ishpeming/Negaunee.
Coach Keith Freeman shows a roster of 37 swimmers to start the season.
"I have a lot of positive thoughts about our team this year," Freeman said. "Almost every day I have new swimmers joining the team. We have a lot of talented swimmers on the team and today's meet will be a good chance for me to see what we truly have."
Freeman is excited about his returning swimmers. Senior Josh Johnson leads that group.
"He has a big season ahead," Freeman said. "He had an undefeated season last year until he swam the 50 free at U.P. finals where he was bested by Colin MacQuarrie from Sault Ste. Marie."
MacQuarrie beat the U.P. and the State Record in that race.
On the girl's side, Maria Pirkola has returned to the pool for her senior year after not swimming competitively for three years.
"Her times from eighth grade would be challenging some of the fastest girls around the U.P.," Freeman noted. "I am looking forward to seeing how she does with her first meet.
"My other seniors have been working hard to improve on their skills too. Michelle Scheibe, Cat Peters and Steven Raboin are going to be my distance swimmers I am counting on this year to really drop some time. Kassie Stelmaszek and Rhiannon Meeuwsen are going to be asked to step up and take a few races for the team this season."
Freeman added that the team has a lot of new swimmers, so he is going to look to the veteran swimmers to help pull down some tougher races early in the season.
The Flivvers didn't have full use of the pool for practice until last Friday. Many swimmers have been practicing in the mornings.
"It was great to get the athletes the space they needed for a complete workout," Freeman said.
After today's meet, the Flivvers remain on the road for the next four meets. Kingsford's first home event, at the YMCA, is against Ishpeming on Tuesday, Dec. 11.
SENIORS - Ashley Berger (IM), Allison Healy (IM), Rhiannon Meeuwsen (K), Catherine Peters (K), Michelle Scheibe (K), Kassandra Stelmaszek (K), Maria Pirkola (IM).
JUNIORS - Danielle Mc Connell (K), Briana Griswold (K).
SOPHOMORES - Rachel Mentel (IM), Shelby Oman (K), Audreanna Trujillo (IM), Lacey Walsh (K), Whitney Wender (K), Makayla Johnson (K).
FRESHMEN - Lynea Hautamaki (IM), Ann Koryeshkova (K), Amber McLean (K), Bryanna Recla (IM), Emma Schoenborn (IM), Emma Voss (NOR), Kyra Johnson (NOR).
SENIORS - Brandon Graves (KI), Keith Holmes (IM), Josh Johnson (K), Steven Raboin (NOR), Jacob Wetsel.
JUNIORS - Thomas Hagan (IM), Pavel Hammar (NOR), Matt Johnson (K), Aaron Pope (IM).
SOPHOMORES - David Plumley (IM), Kristian Stenvig (K), Tanner Walsh (K)
FRESHMEN - Adam Kuehl (K), John Smeberg (K), Leo Stelmaszek (K)
Head coach - Keith Freeman. Team manager - Sarah Kuehl.