Girls swimming and diving: Lakers push Spuds in first home meet under new head coach
The Detroit Lakes swimming and diving team has its sights set on another successful season under new head coach David Voller. The Lakers competed in their first home meet on Tuesday night at the Detroit Lakes Community and Cultural Center.
DETROIT LAKES – The Detroit Lakes girls swimming and diving team got a good test on Tuesday against Moorhead in its first home meet of the regular season.
The Lakers fell to the Spuds 103-82 despite a number of standout performances. New head coach David Voller was impressed with how his team did at the Detroit Lakes Community and Cultural Center.
“It’s fun to watch because the girls at the top are swimming like we want them to, and the girls are developing behind them,” he said. “It’s fun to watch them as they’re coming up. We have had this for years where the older girls are leading by example, competitive and want to win. The younger girls see that and want to mirror that.”
One of those veterans is senior Fath Hamm, who is at or near the top of the standings in every race she swims.
Hamm took first place in the 200-yard free (2:05.58), along with the 200 (1:50.28) and 400-yard (3:59.14) freestyle relays. Quinn Rogstad, Rylie Went and Marin Westrum also swam in the Lakers’ first-place relays.
“Faith is locked in right now,” Voller said. “She never thinks she’s out of a race. The lights are never too bright for her. She shows up and tells herself that she can win, and she’s going to go after it every time.”
Hope Hamm also found herself with a first-place finish in the diving competition. She turned in a score of 206.5, followed by Kylie Tulius in second place at 195.6.
Due to pool maintenance, the Laker divers haven’t had a chance to compete in town yet despite being a month and a half into the season. They’ve been traveling to Park Rapids and Fargo several times each week and training at the Minnesota Flyers gymnastics facility.
“They’ve been dealt a real tough hand,” Voller said of the divers. “The pool took longer to finish than expected. They only get about two days a week on the board and three days a week at Flyers. To see them rock it with a 1-2 finish was great. All of them are doing their thing given the circumstances.”
Voller is in his first season as head coach of the Lakers despite being with the program as an assistant in recent years. Having familiarity with the team has made it easier to juggle the added responsibilities.
“It definitely helps,” Voller said of having pre-existing relationships with the swimmers. “I was the head coach at Albany for three years. It’s a challenge to be added to a team where you know nothing about each kid. What are they good at? What motivates them? Well, I already know what these girls are good at and what motivates them. I know what they need to work on. So we were able to hit the ground running.”
Even though Voller had a good feel for what his team could be heading into the 2022 season, there are still some surprises in the form of newcomers.
“We actually have a lot of seventh graders that have been really impressive,” Voller said. “Libby Peterson is a sophomore that’s new to us this year. She’s been a great addition. To have those girls grades 7-9 show they want to be competitive, have the talent and be excited about is a lot of fun to watch. It’ll be fun in a couple of years when they get older.”
The Lakers will look to send another van full of kids to state this November. Faith Hamm qualified in the 200 and 500-yard freestyle races, while Hope Hamm and Tulius were state divers. Detroit Lakes also qualified relay teams, and is looking to do the same again.
“We expect our two free relays to go to state,” Voller said. “We want Faith to go back in her two events that she went for last year. Maybe we can sneak a few more girls to state two. Marin Westrum is one. Rylie Wendt could get in there, same with Quinn (Rogstad). Obviously, we want Hope and Kylie to go back to state in diving. We’re looking forward to it.”