Shane Stolz, Sports Information Director
WALNUT RIDGE – After a year of recruiting and preparation, the inaugural Williams Baptist College swimming team will jump into the pool and compete for the first time on Friday, Oct. 13.
“We have meets in Arkansas, Missouri, and Illinois. All our events are against NCAA Division II or III schools. We know our competition will be outstanding, but we will focus on racing against the clock, while we strive to improve our individual and relay times throughout the season,” said Head Coach Lee Moore.
Both teams have nine athletes representing them. On the men’s side Danilo Cruz will be the lone senior. Sophomores Rafael Faria, Martin Alguacil, and Issiah Phillips join Cruz as the only non-freshmen on the team. The freshmen class includes Spencer Golden, Seth Haile, Alex Mason, A.J. Rogers, and Chase Smith.
“Our most experience swimmers are Chase Smith and A.J. Rogers. Chase is a sprinter who can race in any of the strokes, and will probably end up competing in the individual medley. A.J. is a sprinter who specialities include freestyle and breaststroke,” Moore said.
The women’s team is comprised of three seniors, one junior, two sophomores, and three freshmen. Katelyn Estes, Erika Isbill, and Lexie Smith are the seniors, while Bethany Jaques is the lone junior. The sophomores are Scarlett James and Hannah Vernon, while Julie Foster joins twins Claire Shepherd and Olivia Shepherd as the freshmen on the squad.
“Our fastest incoming times have been posted by Hannah Vernon and Julie Foster. Hannah is a sprinter who focuses on freestyle and breaststroke. Julie is a mid-distance swimmer who will look to compete in the individual medley,” Moore said.
The Williams athletic program announced the start of a men’s and women’s swimming team last September. The first year program has been working in the weight room, as well as in the pool this semester. The team currently trains at the Pocahontas Aquatic Center in Pocahontas, Ark.
“The preseason has gone well in both the pool and the weight room. The athletes have challenged themselves to go hard during the sprint workouts and push through the distance days. They have been able to both race each other and encourage each other. They are definitely looking forward to beginning the competition phase of the season,” Moore said.
Competition will start on Friday, Oct. 13, in Clarksville, Ark. The Eagles will compete in a double-dual at the University of the Ozarks. The other school involved will be Tabor College. The meet is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.
You can find a complete roster, schedule, and more at www.wbceagles.com.