Fergus’ freestyle foursomePublished 12:11pm Thursday, November 14, 2013
It isn’t a surprise to anyone that a swim team coached by Tom Uvaas will have members traveling to a state meet. The Section 8A Coach of the Year may be one of the most successful swim coaches in the state as he has helped several state champions make it to the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
This season is no different as the Fergus Falls girls swimming and diving team will see two individuals and a relay team represent the Otters at the Class A meet.
“One of our goals was to have a relay team make it (to the state meet),” Uvaas said. “It’s hard to go down with only one athlete, but now its more of a team event and it should be a great experience for the girls.”
The relay team may seem a like a hodge podge of swimmers as two former state qualifiers and two newbies will vie for the top spot at the state meet, but the group is very prepared for the meet.
The team will be led by senior four-time state qualifier Abby Fisher. Fisher’s experience at the state meet will help out fellow team members with swimming on a big stage.
Not only will Fisher be swimming in the team event, but she was able to qualify for the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke. Fisher hopes that in her fifth apperance at state meet will allow her to improve her eighth place in the 100 backstroke and 15th place finish in the 100 butterfly from last season.
“It’s an honor,” Fisher said about qualifying in three events. “It’s something I have worked for all these years and it’s nice that in my senior year I could make it.”
Coach Uvaas was also pleased that Fisher would finish out her high school career at the state meet before starting her collegiate career at the University of North Dakota.
“It’s great for her, because she is an experienced swimmer and she will be able to experience her last meet with a couple of friends,” Uvaas said.
Junior Dani Ross, a former state qualifier, likes competing as a team over as an individual. “I like it better because we can all make memories and have a great experience. It would be nice to go as an individual, but I think it will be more fun as a member of a team,” Ross said.
Fisher is not the only multi-event qualifier as teammate sophomore Emilie Reard also qualified with a win in the 100 breaststroke at the Section 8A meet.
“It’s really exciting and an honor,” Reard said of qualifying for her first state meet. “It’s going to be really fun to see how the state meet is and to be with my teammates.”
Junior Caitlyn Colbeck looks to enjoy the meet’s atmosphere, but she does have goals set out for her and her teammates.
“My goal is for our relay team is to place higher then what we are seeded and to improve our time from sections,” Colbeck said.
As Uvaas prepares to say good bye to one of his top female swimmers, he also sees the postives of the three younger swimmers making the state meet.
“These swimmers can bridge their success from this meet into future seasons,” Uvaas said.
The Otter girls will hit the pool for the Class A prelims beginning at 12 p.m. Tuesday.