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Sports

October 30, 2013

Demon swim season start delayed

Regional competition new this year

DUNCAN — The lack of a pool meant a delayed start to the Duncan swim team’s season.

Demon swim coach Andrew Bowers admitted practices had been tough the last three weeks, because the Simmons Center swimming pool was unavailable.

“This week has been our first week in the pool,” Bowers said. “They had issues with the pool. So we haven’t had a chance to swim as much as we liked.”

A new pool liner was recently installed, but according to Bowers, there was an issue with the liner and “it was kind of a snowball, one thing after another.” This caused a delay to the start of pool practice.

Senior swimmer Brennan Dehart admitted it was tough not getting into the pool when practice first began.

“It was quite a bit difficult for a few of the team members, because they weren’t used to the dry workouts,” he said. “Swimming is a difficult sport but you get used to it over time. Getting back in the pool is definitely helping us.”

Fellow senior Damon Demar agreed, but pointed out that “you’ve got to work with what you get.”

While the Demons waited for the pool to open, they worked on “dry land exercises,” such as running, aerobics and abdominal work.

The late start to practicing in a pool meant the Demons had to cancel two swim meets that were scheduled Nov. 5 and 7. Their first meet will be at home Nov. 14, with Carl Albert, Del City and Midwest City competing.

Despite the delays with the pool, Bowers said the swimmers have had good attitudes.

“They are definitely excited to be back in the water,” he said. “There is only so much we can do on dry land days.”

Demar said it was good to finally get intothe water in the team’s first pool practice Monday.

Although Demar said that the swimmers weren’t quite in the shape they needed to be, “we still feel we are in pretty good shape despite not being able to swim. Hopefully it won’t be that hard to make up.”

Dehart added that, while everyone is not where they need to be, “I think we are getting back into the swing of things fairly quickly.”

New this season is a regional meet at which swimmers will need to place in the top eight to qualify for state. Previously, swimmers needed to post a certain time to reach state.

“In the past, you could have swimmers qualify for state in the first meet of the year,” Bowers said.

Dehart said that the change could benefit the swimmers. He said, in the past, some swimmers who qualified for state early in the season didn’t swim as hard at meets later in the season, but that should change.

“This year, we’ll have to push ourselves harder at every meet in order to get to state,” he said.

Considering that the Demons have three state qualifiers returning — Demar, Dehart and sophomore Charles Espinola — the expectations remain high. Last year, Demar qualified in the 50-meter freestyle, Dehart in the 100-meter freestyle and Espinola in the 100 butterfly. The three joined Mason Lane (who graduated) in qualifying three relays: the 200 freestyle, 400 freestyle and 200 medley.

“Having three state qualifiers definitely gives us a boost,” Bowers said.

Demar said that, while Lane will be missed, the Demons have plenty of swimmers ready to fill his relay spot.

On the girls side, senior Savanna Swar and juniors Leah Kafer and Hannah Looney return. Bowers said Kafter and Looney are expected to be the top girls swimmers.

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