Notre Dame looks for bigger splash

Friday, November 23, 2001

After experiencing the anticipated growing pains during its inaugural season last year, the Notre Dame boys swimming team is hoping to make a bigger splash this year.

According to coach Lenny Kuper, the Bulldogs are aiming for their first state qualifiers in the short program's history.

"It is a goal," said Kuper. "We'd love to take a relay team to state and we're working really hard to do that. We might also have some individuals who can make it."

The Bulldogs went 2-9 in dual meets last year and, with only 12 swimmers on the squad, Kuper doesn't know if they can improve on that record. But with no seniors on the roster, he believes good things are in store for the future.

"I think we made good progress for the first year. I'm proud of the way we started, but to be better than 2-9, I don't know if we can do that, with the tough teams we face," he said. "We've got so many young kids and if we can get them working hard this year, then we could really have some possibilities next year."

Nine of the Bulldogs' 12 squad members return from last year, including juniors Jordan Kuper and Mark Lester. The coach believes both have state possibilities.

Returning sophomores are Josh Lester, Stephen Hine, John Fisher, Chad McCormick, Tim Frank, John Stoverink and Drew Boyd.

New to the program are sophomore Andrew Kinnison, along with freshmen Kenny Schmitz and Justin Voss.

"We're still in the building stage. It's still a building sport for us," said Lenny Kuper. "We're hoping as these guys become juniors and seniors we'll have a much stronger team."

Notre Dame opens the season Tuesday with a triangular meet on the road against St. Louis-area squads Oakville and Affton.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: