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Laker senior Melissa Paakh anchors a strong foursome of seniors on the girl's swimming and diving team this fall.

Talent-heavy DL squad looking to topple a few school records in 2010 season

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The crescendo of a six-year building period for four key Detroit Lakes girl swimmers has finally arrived.

The Laker senior foursome of Melissa Paakh, Libby Larson, Ashtin Spies and Andi Weiss came up through the swimming ranks and helped the program rise to where it is now.

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"They are the showcase of our program," said DL head coach Carol McCarthy, who has seen first hand the rise of the four seniors.

But the 2010 season will be the last go-around for the longtime Laker swimmers, and with the added depth of the younger swimmers and divers, it could be a grand departure.

Paakh is a two-time Class 1A state runner-up in the 100-yard butterfly, but has bigger aspirations for this season.

Larson has been a mainstay in the state meet for the last four years, while Spies and Weiss are both knocking on the door.

"The seniors definitely have been building to this year," McCarthy said. "We are cautiously optimistic. But all of our swimmers came into practice in good shape."

The four seniors, though, will make the Laker lineup op-heavy with talent.

They have been competing together for the last six years, and obviously have struck success through them.

"They have their sites set on some school records," McCarthy said.

"Ashtin is on the threshold of breaking the 100 backstroke record (by .5 of a second) and Andi wants that 50 freestyle record."

Paakh and Larson already each hold a bevy of records.

Paakh will be obviously concentrating on the 100 butterfly, but she also is determined to improve on her 200 individual medley event, after qualifying for state in the 100 breaststroke last year.

Larson also has been working hard on her 500 freestyle, but may also start working the 200 freestyle as well.

"Libby has a love-hate relationship in the 200, it's a psychological race since it's not really a sprint, but a mid-distance kind of event," McCarthy added.

Spies will be a good sprinter for the Lakers, along with being a main cog on relay teams, along with Weiss, who has conditioned to race in freestyle events such as the 200 and 500.

But the younger swimmers in the freshman and sophomore grades will provide the depth needed for a successful team season.

Katie Larson will provide solid depth in the 200 IM, while Miranda Olson will race the 200 and 500 freestyles.

Freshman Maddy Schiller will be a versatile swimmer and also help fill in the sprint events.

"We're expecting a strong season if we can stay healthy," McCarthy concluded.

The Lakers will have four home meets this season and open the schedule at home Monday, Aug. 30, against Perham, Park Rapids, Fosston, Fergus Falls, Thief River Falls and Warroad at the Detroit Lakes Community and Cultural Center's BTD Aquatics Center.

Laker schedule

The 2010 Detroit Lakes girls' swimming and diving 2010 schedule:

August

30 DL Invite

September

9 Staples-Motley

11 at Bemidji

16 at Crookston

18 at Park Rapids

21 at Moorhead

28 Perham

October

2 at Fosston

5 at Thief River Falls

7 at Park Rapids

9 True Team Section TBD

12 at Bemidji

14 Perham

19 at Moorhead

22 at Staples-Motley

29 Mid-State meet at Park Rapids

November

12-13 Section meet at Bemidji

18-19 State Meet at U of M.

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Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN. 
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