CLINTON — Coaching a small squad made even smaller by injuries to two key members, Albert Hayton knows the Clinton girls swimming team is at a huge disadvantage when it faces large teams. So, he told his swimmers not to worry about team success Tuesday night when the River Queens made their home debut.
“Before (the meet), Albert said in the locker room not to worry about the team but worry about improving your time because that’s what matters the most,” Clinton’s Nikki Erling said.
Erling, the lone senior on the squad, earned the only victory for the River Queens in a 135-37 loss to Davenport West at the Clinton Aquatic Center.
“... We’re not worried about the meet today or the meet this Saturday, but we’re worried about the end of the season and getting our times where they need to be so potentially some of us could make it to the state meet,” Hayton said. “So, right now we’re just trying to swim to improve technique and see what we can do to just have some better times by the end of the season.”
He said there would be meets where winning was possible, too.
“When we swam against Tipton, we should have won the meet, but we had two DQs that cost us some points,” Hayton said. “They have a small team. Davenport North has a small team, and, if I’m not mistaken, Davenport Central has a small team, too, so there’s opportunities for us to do some things. But, against these large teams, we just don’t have the numbers to back up the second and third positions.”
The River Queens swam without junior Alayna Geronzin, who might miss the season because of a track injury, and sophomore Becca Hess, out with a shoulder injury.