CLINTON — Libby Hess flirted with the Clinton school record in the 100-yard butterfly last season. As a senior, she’s down to her final attempts to do it.

Hess, the Mississippi Athletic Conference swimmer of the Year last season, will lead the River Queens into their first home meet of the season tonight against Davenport West at 6 p.m.

Hess finished 14th at state in the breaststroke last year, improving from 22nd as a sophomore. Her best time was 1 minute, 9.76 seconds (the school record is 1:08.19).

“I would look for her to come close to breaking the school record (this season),” Clinton coach June Wilden said. “If we can clean up her start and really clean up her turns, that’s going to be a strength for her.”

Hess is the top returning swimmer for the River Queens. Also back is Laura Callan, a third-team All-MAC performer in diving.

“I would truly say for us, diving is going to be a big point getter,” Wilden said.

Wilden is looking for her seniors to come to the front.

“I think you’ll see strong leadership from Libby Hess, from Kendra Evers, from Alyssa Wells, Jordan Miller, Laura Callan — then Natasha Kerr is our other senior — and they’re vying for our starting spots,” Wilden said.

Wilden also is looking for sophomores Stevie Erling and Emma Yahn to step up. Then there are a bunch of swimmers whom Wilden said could be surprises.

“Jenna Strait and Madison Kenworthy are really looking good,” she said. “They’ve improved tremendously. Syd-ney Temperly came out. She swam when she was younger, and it’s helped us out a lot with her there. Kayla Hernandez will probably surprise people because they think of her as a girl who did shot put and discus all her life and came out because she wants to get stronger. Hope Creeley and Kara Lueders are both doing a great job as freshmen coming in with no swim experience whatsoever. Rubina Vidal is out and doing diving, and that will help support Laura Callan. We have Megan Machholz, another senior. Elaina Garrison and Sarah Kramer who both swam last year but it was their first year.”

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