The Greensburg boys swimming team opened the winter season Tuesday with a dual meet against East Central at home.
The size of the boys squad grew from seven swimmers last season to 11 this season, despite the loss of three swimmers. Logan Hunter and Arniel Sia graduated, and foreign exchange student Lukas Oberbeck swam for one season.
“We’re in the process of building a program that will be as competitive as Greensburg has ever had,” said first-year Greensburg head coach Josh Hawkins. “With some youth and inexperience, we’re heading in the right direction. This will be a growing, learning experience. Every time we get in the pool, we’ll do something better and faster than the last time.”
Senior Justin Starkey returns as the lone senior on the boys team.
“Justin is a great athlete,” said Hawkins. “He has great athleticism. We haven’t quite gotten the work and practice in that he needs. He has the potential to be an extremely fast swimmer.”
Starkey placed second in the 50-yard freestyle in 27.22.
Sophomore captain Nick Oesterling looks to continue pacing the team, as Hawkins noted his presence at every practice. Oesterling dropped two seconds in the 200-yard individual medley with a first-place time of 2:13.32. Oesterling also won the 100 backstroke in 1:02.38.
“He is a workhorse,” said Hawkins. “He has been swimming all his life. He has great potential. He could re-write the record books.”
Sophomore Andy Dashiell is swimming in his first high school season.
“He has all the tools to be a great swimmer,” said Hawkins. “He is tall, lean and strong. With a little bit of hard work, he has all the tools to be a good swimmer.”
Corey Dennett returns as a veteran swimmer.
“He is a fun kid to be around,” said Hawkins. “If we can get Corey a little more committed to swim fast, I have no doubt he will be a great swimmer.”
Sophomore Todd Overmyer returns for another season. He dropped four seconds in the 200 freestyle, clocking a 2:41.79 for fifth place. He also placed fifth in the 50 free (29.42).
“Todd is a great athlete, and is long and lean,” said Hawkins. “When he applies himself, he can be a good contributor. He learned a lot last year, and this year he’s in a new role.”
Sophomore Spencer Kuehl joins the team with junior high experience. Hawkins said he also has the physical tools to swim competitively.
“He showed me last night he is also capable of being fast,” said Hawkins. “I also have a ton of confidence that he can be a great contributor to our team.”
Five freshmen have joined the team this winter.
Hawkins said Drew Reiger has swum all his life.
“He is a hard-working kid,” he said. “He’s becoming our freestyle distance specialist. I look for him to have a good season. He also will have a successful career.”
Freshman Brady Niles dropped three seconds in the 100 freestyle, which Hawkins said was a breakthrough for him. He swam a third-place 1:19.15 in the 100 breaststroke, and a fourth-place 57.55 in the 100 free.
“He brings a ton of energy to our team,” said Hawkins of Niles. “He is a hard-working kid in practice. He is capable of having a great high school career. I’m excited about him being on the team.”
Hawkins said Andrew Schroeder has been swimming at Greensburg for a while.
“I’m excited about Andrew because he was the physical tools to be a great swimmer,” said Hawkins. “His butterfly is coming along and looking great. Andrew has a ton of energy. If we can channel that, he can be a great swimmer as well.”
Hawkins said freshman Jake Buening, a first-time swimmer, has the potential to be a big contributor.
“He has a great attitude,” said Hawkins of the younger brother of Ben Buening, a successful swimmer that Hawkins coached. “He’s going to help us out.”
Aaron Sia, the brother of Arniel Sia, will swim in a utility role this season.
“He is a talented swimmer,” said Hawkins. “He swims all distances pretty well. I look for Aaron to step right in where his brother was and pick right up. He’s a good kid.”
Despite the sizable 120-54 loss to East Central, Hawkins was pleased with the boys’ overall performance.
“The guys’ side swam well,” he said. “They came together as a team. We’ll take our lumps along the way, but we could have something special. We’re going to be successful this year.”
Contact Nick Gonnella at (812) 663-3111, x7003.