“The season is finished but they performed very well. The Cass community can be very proud of these swimmers as they have done their absolute best,” said head coach Danny Fairbanks.
There were several swimmers Fairbanks said came close to qualifying — sophomore co-captain Maile Liu, senior co-captain Robin Ellenburg and senior co-captain Tony Bradway.
This season Bradway set new school records for the 100- and 50-yard freestyle while Liu set school records for the 200-yard individual medley.
Another possible for state was a newcomer, senior co-captain Skyler Shutts.
“Skyler virtually knew very little when he started this year but his hard work and tenacity paid off as he has become one of our top swimmers for the team,” Fairbanks said.
Shutts was not the only new face in the Cass swim program this season. With the Colonels usually bringing in 15 to 20 students, Fairbanks and Bradway knew they would not have enough swimmers to compete this year for team championships. Bradway did some recruiting around the Cass hallways and the final roster contained 50 athletes.
“This past season the Cass swim program has made tremendous strides for developing the type of swim program that all Cass followers can be proud of,” Fairbanks said.
Fairbanks, assistant coach Krystal Schuessler, Bradway and the other more experienced swimmers worked all season long to help the new team members learn “the essential fundamentals involved with being a successful competitor in the swim arena,” Fairbanks said.
Along with that, they stressed the importance of “intangibles” such as fun, diligence, determination, competitive spirit and sportsmanship, he said.
As a young team, Cass still has more work to do in training its swimmers, but Fairbanks said he has been pleased with everyone’s performance.
“We won the meet at Darlington. We beat Darlington by one and Calhoun by about 40. It was a lot of fun and they threw me in the pool for the win. I would say we had an exceptional season,” he said.