Swimming and Diving Championships: George Jenkins Girls Eye Record, Look to Defend County Title
Fri. October 19, 2012 at 2:35 a.m. | By Polk Preps Staff
By BILL KEMP
LEDGER MEDIA GROUP
WINTER HAVEN | The days of swimmers devouring salt tablets might be long gone, but the appetite for success remains — which might explain why some George Jenkins girls are biting into their relay cards.
The Jenkins girls swim team will look to defend its Polk County championship today and Saturday at Rowdy Gaines Pool, while four girls look to break a 9-year-old, 200-yard freestyle relay record.
Lucy Muller, Hope Saunders, Rachel Lulf and Kyleigh Firman will take a stab at the 1:44.95 record time set by Winter Haven in 2003. They enter the race with a 1:45.45 seed time after setting Lakeland City Meet records last week in the 200 free and 200 medley relays.
The Eagles have set their sights on breaking the record before the team begins the annual tapering period swimmers utilize in order rejuvenate the body and cut times.
"They are just going to swim a little harder, pull a little faster, and with the adrenaline, if they want it bad enough, they'll get it," Jenkins head coach Jenn Gosline said.
The four also will take part in their prerace meal before hitting the starting blocks on Saturday.
"Each one bites a corner off their card before they hand it to the judge," Gosline said. "By the block, you can see the four of their heads get together, they are obviously trying to pump each other up. They have their own thing. I just kiss their caps for good luck."
Winter Haven won the boys county championship last year and could vault into the catbird seat today when the diving portion of the meet begins at 3 p.m. Swim heats begin Saturday at 9 a.m.
Not only is Blue Devil James Voisard the two-time defending county dive champion, but he's looking to break the county record of 295.5 points set by Auburndale's Matt Reiter in 2008. The Winter Haven junior racked up 305 points, winning the Ridge Swim Meet last week at Rowdy Gaines.
"I think we could have a new county record," Winter Haven head coach Danny Wallace said. "He has improved considerably, everything down to his entry into the water. His degree of difficulty should be up there, and he can hit a two-and-a-half (somersault) at will and make it look good."
The county meet is the last six-dive event before the 11-dive FHSAA postseason begins next week. Voisard, who finished fifth in the state the past two seasons and has spent countless hours preparing high-difficulty dives on his quest for a state title, plans on performing conservative at county.
"I've decided to go with a medium degree of difficulty because I'm going after the county record," Voisard said. "I feel like if I perform average, not extraordinary well, I should break it."