At least 40 public high schools in the State of Virginia won’t play winter sports, but Powhatan remains committed to providing its student-athletes with the opportunity to compete this season.
And with that opportunity, this year’s swimmers still have that extra chance to get out of the house, interact with their teammates (while staying six feet apart) and just be part of a team.
After not being able to field a relay with only three boys some seasons, Powhatan is very excited to have eight boys on this year’s roster, and the numbers overall look strong with 19 girls in the program as well.
The Indians return top-10 regional finishers and year-round swimmers Cole Malkerson, who this past winter placed eighth in both the 100-yard freestyle (53.15) and in the 100 backstroke (1:00.50), and Mia Wilson, who took 10th in the 100 freestyle (58.44) and 11th in the 50 free (26.76). Coach Shannon Malkerson said they have an excellent chance at qualifying for states.
Powhatan brings back several more strong veteran swimmers in Margaret Compton, Summer Kantanen, Sidney White, Abby Johnson, Reece Smith, Sophia Edwards, Payton George, R.E. Holland and Wyatt Malkerson.
Freshmen to watch include Nathan Orban, Caleb Shust, Breanna Gillespie and Leeanne Wrenn.
Under these trying circumstances, the team this season is having to adjust its practice schedule and reduce the amount of time that swimmers are in the water for practice.
“We must focus on the little things like starts, turns and underwaters to see improvement,” Malkerson said. “The swimmers will be broken into two smaller groups, which will lend itself to more individualized instruction, which is one positive of having to tweak our schedule.”
Powhatan has secured a new space to hold its swim meets this season at the Swim Quest Aquatic Center in Midlothian. Malkerson said her former high school swim coach is graciously letting them rent the center for their meets.
Powhatan is currently scheduled to swim against Orange, Louisa and Goochland counties on Jan. 9, Jan. 23 and Jan. 30, respectively.
Regionals are scheduled to take place on the weekend of Feb. 5 at Swim RVA in Midlothian.