Tiger Sharks prepare for State

Published 10:57 pm Wednesday, July 28, 2010

This weekend, the Troy Tiger Sharks will be going in for the kill at the highest level of competition – the state finals.

There will be 15 swimmers representing Troy at the competition, which takes places in Valley on Friday and Saturday.

The nine girls that will be competing this weekend are: Gracie Redmon, Mary Stoltze, Peyton Sasser, Raegan Brown, Sarah-Cathyrn Snellgrove, Lakin Turner, Fraukje Lieb, Emily Dent and Jennifer Jordan

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While the six boys that will be swimming for Troy are: Kendall Savoie, Charlie Rawls, Cole Coppage, Ethan Wilkes and Jared and Justin Petty.

“Everyone is looking good,” head coach Shane Tatum said Wednesday afternoon. “I think we are peaking at the right time.”

The team participated in its final practice Wednesday at the Troy Natatorium and will head up to Valley this morning to gear up for the following two days.

Since the District meet, Tatum said he has had his team work on the same basic things it had been working on before – stroke routines and conditioning.

However, with the State meet, the coach has been making his swimmers focus on two other important factors of the race.

“We have been focusing a lot on getting off board (at the beginning of the race) and our turns (during the race),” the coach said.

“If these things are done correctly, it can cut down on our times a lot.”

Being able to reduce their times is going to be important for the Tiger Sharks as the team will be competing against 45 other teams and between 2,500 and 3,000 swimmers.

“We are expecting the quality of competition to be to rise dramatically (from District to State),” Tatum said.

“State is always going to be difficult, but I feel like our swimmers will be up to the task.”

For a lot of the Troy swimmers, this will not be the first time swimming in a competition at this level.

There will be 13 Tigers Sharks returning to State for the second year in a row, something that Tatum said he believes will be an advantage for his team.

“I’m sure it’s going to be a little bit of a shock at first for some of our swimmers,” he said.

“But we were able to get a look at the starting spots and all of our swimmers are on the bubble of the top 15, and only a couple of seconds separated them from the top 10 – so I like where we are.”

The meet will be taking place at the Valley Community Center and Sportsplex with the first events taking place at 10 a.m. on both Friday and Saturday morning.