High School Sports

Ferndale Golden Eagles girls’ swimming preview

Coach: Julia Garrison

Last year: 1-6 overall, 1-5 NWC (sixth place). ... Lone win of the season came in a 88-74 victory over Sedro-Woolley on Sept. 19.

Swimmers to watch: Caitlin Wilhoite (Sr.), Mia Wagoner (Sr.), Emily Immer (Jr.).

Outlook: A bevy of new seniors and a lot of freshman, or at least a lot of really, really inexperienced swimmers — that’s Ferndale’s girls’ swimming team in a nutshell. “We have a really young team this year,” Garrison said in a phone interview. “Eight girls are not only new to our team, but new to swimming. We’re excited to see how their year progresses.” Progression and improvement will be the Golden Eagles philosophy, Garrison emphasized, using the early dual meets to introduce high school girls’ swimming to her swimmers, and then relying on the latter end of the schedule to determine overall success. “We’ll spend the bulk of our first half of the season learning swimming and the different strokes,” she said. “Every day I’m talking to them about improving their own time and focusing on their own race.” Wilhoite, Wagoner and Immer make up a majority of Ferndale’s experience, with Immer and Wilhoite competing in the breaststroke, and Wagoner a sprint freestyler. “She (Wilhoite) is just recovering from an injury and switching to the breaststroke,” Garrison said. “Her stroke already looks great. She’s been working on it all summer.” Garrison said Wagoner’s improvement from year to year has never been more sizable.