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Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016

Sharks dive into season

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Kristin Medley works with a swimmer.
SIKESTON -- The Sikeston Sharks swim team held its first practice on Tuesday evening at the Sikeston City Swimming Pool located behind the YMCA of Southeast Missouri.

The Sharks will have a familiar face leading the charge in Lauren Medley, but it is her first year as the head coach of the team.

Medley has served as an assistant coach with the team for the last three years. She takes over the head coaching duties along with her younger sister Kristin Medley and Andi Schetter.

Medley has a long personal history of swimming so she thinks she's ready to take on the job this season.

"It definitely is a challenge but I think I'm well-prepared," said Medley. "I've been teaching swim lessons at the YMCA ever since I was 15 and I've been swimming since I was 7-years-old. So it's kind of something that's been a part of me for a long time. I think I'm up for it."

A swimmer works on her kicks.
Medley indicated that much of the team this year is comprised of younger, inexperienced swimmers, presenting even more challenges for the new coach.

"We have a lot of new swimmers this year," said Medley. "One of my main goals is to teach them all the strokes and make sure they improve individually as well as improve our team. A lot of our swimmers are younger so I want to get them interested in staying with the team long term so we can have older, stronger swimmers."

One of Medley's other goals will be to build confidence in the younger swimmers with better stamina and the ability to learn the tougher swim strokes.

"A lot of it is endurance -- starting out it's kind of hard for some of the younger kids to swim down and swim strong the whole time," said Medley. "I'll be looking for kids to be able to do some of the longer races and some of the harder strokes. The butterfly is a lot harder than the other strokes and I want the kids to be able to do that stroke competitively."

Sikeston has 45 swimmers on the team this year but Medley says she expects a few more entries before the season heats up.

The Sharks will have their first meet on Saturday at Poplar Bluff starting at 9 a.m.