The TJ girls’ swim team sets sights on State.
After a couple of successful years under Coaches Ono Piccone and Cindy Allen, the Lady Spartans’ swim team hopes to improve once again in the upcoming season. Led by a solid group of seniors and some talented underclassmen, the team has a chance to do some damage in the Denver Prep League.
A third place finish at the city meet last season behind DPS powerhouses George Washington and East proved that TJ was capable of competing against the best teams in the league. This year the Spartans will be led by seniors Catherine Piccone, Ryan Mollo, Junior Hall Hupperts, and Sophomore Andrea Shacklock. “We hope to send a couple of relay teams to state like we did last season, and these girls are going to be the key athletes in making the times,” said Coach Piccone. “We would like to send some girls to state in individual events also, and our large team is going to help us score points in our big meets.” Fielding a group of about 25 swimmers and six divers, the team has grown in the past few seasons.
Coaches Allen and Piccone are taking a similar approach to training as last season, but this year they are adding some dry land workouts to get the girls in better shape for the longer races. The dry land work will consist of some running and weightlifting, to improve the girls’ strength and stamina. “We’re going to do the same type of workouts this season, but we’re going to push them harder, earlier, to get them in racing form before the first meet,” said Piccone.
The diving team is also looking forward to the season ahead, as they have some young talent that looks to be the best team in the City. Headed by the two returning sophomores, Morgan Bertram and Colette Hernandez, the team picked up four other members who hope to make an impact early. “We have a lot of new talent this season, with Morgan and Colette being our most experienced divers,” said diving coach Aimee Witulski. “We have a good chance to come out as the top team in the DPL, and we’ll have the biggest team in the league.”
The girls hope to move up at least one spot in the city meet standings, as they have finished third the past two seasons. All of their goals are within reach, as they have a good mix of experienced swimmers and some up and coming talent that has the ability to make the team very competitive.