The Carthage High School girls swim team will feature two returning starters and three athletes with prior varsity experience this winter.
“We’re very young and very inexperienced, so it will be a growth year,” Tigers coach Braden McBride said. “But we’re very excited about the upcoming season.”
Carthage’s returning starters are senior Aubree Santillan and sophomore Olivia Manning, while sophomore Kameron Dininger also returns with some varsity experience.
Santillan and Manning were part of Carthage’s 200-yard medley relay team that finished 12th in the consolation finals at last year’s MSHSAA Class 2 Swimming and Diving Championships, earning honorable mention all-state honors.
The Tigers lost two key performers to graduation, Madison Riley and Joey Hettinger.
A multi-year standout, Riley earned all-state honors in two individual events at last year’s state championships, as she placed fourth in the 100-yard butterfly and sixth in the 100 freestyle.
Riley and Hettinger joined Santillan and Manning on last year’s all-state relay team.
The Tigers finished 18th at last year’s Class 2 state meet, preceded by a fourth-place finish at the Central Ozark Conference Meet.
McBride said his program prides itself on hard work.
“We are going to do our best to outwork everyone,” he said.
McBride added the main area of concern heading into the season is the team’s overall inexperience.
For McBride, the keys to a successful season are simple.
“Growth and hard work,” he said.
Carthage will begin the 2023-24 season on Nov. 30 by hosting a meet at the Fair Acres Family YMCA.