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Deerfield swimmers get off to fast start

Deeerfield-Windsor swimmers Ashton Wahbeh, left, and Daniel Cheshire, lead this year's boys swimming team.

Deeerfield-Windsor swimmers Ashton Wahbeh, left, and Daniel Cheshire, lead this year's boys swimming team.

ALBANY — Deerfield-Windsor’s swimmers opened their season on Saturday at the Albany State pool with a tri-meet victory against GISA Class AAA Tattnall Square and Southland.

“This meet was a nice season opener for new swimmers to test their skills and for seasoned swimmers to size up their strengths and weaknesses,’’ DWS coach Lorraine Withers said.

“It was also an opportunity for the coaches to size up the team for the upcoming year, coming off a very successful 2011-12 season.

DWS has 35 swimmers in the program, including 26 varsity swimmers — the largest team in the school’s history.

“This is due to years of JV teams and developing of JV swimmers and now over half of DWS swim team trains with USA team year round,’’ Withers said.

Team captains Hannah Bowe, Rena Divine and Camille Fox led the girls team as Bowe dropped her times in every event.

“Hannah trains year-round at Darton and is one of our go to swimmers who can swim all events at all distances,’’ Withers said.

Freshman Reagan Allen, a newcomer to the varsity who also trains year-round, “had a solid performance in the opening meet and shows great promise for the season,’’ Withers said.

“She trains with Hannah and will bring great potential to individual sprint events and relays. Another newcomer to varsity after being out of swimming for a year, is freshman Maggie Duvall, who is the fastest female sprinter DWS has seen since 2007. Maggie will be the first girl to break a minute in the 100 free since 2007, she is just a natural athlete.’’

“Haley Daughtry, a freshman, is currently injured, but once we get her healthy, should be another strong sprinter along Maggie to give DWS a very solid relay team. Rena and Camille bring their speed and experience to round out individual events and relays. Camille is another gifted athlete coming off cross-country, and is working with the distance coach to improve her 500 free.Rena’s focus is freestyle and relays.’’

The boys team consists of 12 swimmers, but doesn’t have a senior.

Ashton Wahbeh, a sophomore, returns and has the most experience.

“Ashton’s focus is middle distance but he has become much more of a utilitarian swimmer and can do all of the strokes,’’ Withers said.

Nathan McLendon was the biggest surprise in the meet as he had some dramatic drops in his times.

“Nathan is a sophomore who trains year around with Darton and has really stepped up his training,’’ Withers said. “Nathan’s focus is also middle distance but he has become a swimmer who can swim any event now.’’

Mike Gutierrez and Daniel Cheshire are returning juniors, focusing on sprints and relays. Chris Carter returns to DWS as a sophomore after swimming for DWS years ago as a JV swimmer and brings speed to relay as a sprinter.

Nick Myers moves up to varsity this year as a freshman, bringing his breaststroke skills where he won state as a JV swimmer. Brent Goldsmith is another strong breaststroker who returns this year as a sophomore. Matt Gutierrez moves up to varsity this year as a freestyle and backstroke sprinter.