Lebanon — New Tigersharks head coach Craig Howe knows there is still some things for his swimmers to gets used to with his coaching style.
In fact, even preparation on meet days is going to be different than most of his swimmers have had before. But while it is still just a couple of weeks into the new year, Howe has liked what he has seen.
That was shown at home for the first time this year with a dual meet Tuesday against West Lafayette. The Tigersharks split the meet, with the girls winning 101-82 and the boys losing 106-74.
"I was really happy with our effort," Howe said. "Things are different than they have had before. We had practice before West Lafayette got here today, and that is something they haven't done before, more than a warm-up. That was an adjustment, but they still came out and swam fast. I was really happy with the girls, they bounced back from that Hamilton Heights meet and swam well tonight. The boys raced well, West Lafayette was just a little better."
It was just the second meet of the season for the girls, and the first for the boys.
After nearly a month (for the boys) and even long for the girls, Howe said the kids are excited to compete.
"The kids are probably even more excited about it than I am, because it means they aren't practicing," Howe said. "They are excited to go race. That is what they are here for. For me, it is still trying to figure out what pieces go where, but I think they are ready to get going."
On the girls side, Lauren Gascho led the team with three first-place finishes.
She teamed with Summer Stogsdill, Lucy Gascho and Cayleigh Dial to win the 200-yard medley relay in a time of 2:02.37, and with Morgan Lawson, Lucy Gascho and Rylee Miller to win the 400-yard freestyle relay in a time of 4:19.65.
Individually, she won the 100-yard backstroke in a time of 1:06.36.
Also winning for the Lady Tigersharks were Dial in the 50-yard freestyle in 27.37 (with teammate Lily Gascho in second in 29.50) and Lawson in the 500-yard freestyle in a time of 5:58.34.
Earning runner-up finishes for the Lady Tigersharks were: Lawson in the 200-yard freestyle (2:10.93), Lucy Gascho in the 200-yard IM (2:32.11) and 100-yard butterfly (1:11.82), Lexi Puckett in diving (140.30), Dial in the 100-yard freestyle (1:00.03), Stogsdill in 100-yard breaststroke (1:17.27), and the 200-yard freestyle relay team of Stogsdill, Miller, Dial and Lawson (1:51.32).
"I thought Cayleigh Dial had several good swims," Howe said. "Lauren Gascho, despite not feeling well, swam really well, especially in the 100-back and the 400-free relay. Those two were toward the top, but Morgan Lawson had a couple good swims too."
For the boys team, the Tigersharks got a win from Riley Newman in diving with a score of 139.65 and from the 200-yard freestyle relay team of James Wagner, Grant Goff, J.C. Reese and Austin Orr in a time of 1:40.13.
Earning second-place finishes were, the 200-yard medley relay team of Gabriel Goff, Phillip Betts, Devin Fearrin and Grant Goff (2:00.35), Reese in the 50-yard freestyle (23.87) and 100-yard breaststroke (1:13.55), Orr in the 500-yard freestyle (5:27.88), and the 400-yard freestyle relay team of Wagner, Gabriel Goff, Orr and Reese (3:54.53).
"I thought J.C. Reese swam really well, and had a great 50-free," Howe said. "We are trying to decide what his best second event will be, the breaststroke or 100-free. Mason Stillwell had a breakout swim too. I hadn't seen him go under a minute before and he swam 58 in his individual 100-free."
The Tigersharks head to Southmont Saturday for a dual meet.
Howe said the team has to take advantage of the next couple of weeks before the holidays to get some good work in.
"We are kind of setting the tone for break, and right after break," Howe said. "We are putting a big emphasis on the conference meet, and that is coming up here pretty quick in early January. What we do in the next three or four weeks will set the tone for how we do there, and then the sectional right after that. The kids know they are kind of in the hard part of the season right now."