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2011-12 Winter Preview: Park swim team hopes to make waves in 2011-12

Park returns All-Conference honorable mention swimmer Matt Henry to the pool this winter.

Although the 2011-12 season looms, many members of the Park boys swimming and diving team haven't had much time to prepare. They've been busy playing other sports.

"Some of them are playing soccer; they're staying in shape," said coach Amanda Johnson.

Johnson hopes that her teams' work ethic will help them improve on last year's performance.

"Last year we tied one meet, and lost the other seven, so it was better than the previous year," she said. "This year we have a chance to win a few more meets than we did last year. We tied Roseville last year; we will have a good chance of winning that one."

In addition to its rematch with Roseville, Johnson said the Wolfpack is also looking forward to their meet against Suburban East Conference opponent White Bear Lake.

"We'll have a good chance of winning that one too," Johnson said.

Talented swimmers on last year's roster helped them earn a tie with Roseville.

"I think overall we had a stronger team [than previously] in general, we had some boys who could do some other events," Johnson said.

Park will have to make up for the loss of senior Tyler Gelbmann, who ended his high school diving career at last year's state meet, and the loss of three of its top swimmers this season.

Johnson noted that this season depends on, "getting more of those boys to step up and take some of those places."

"[We] need boys to take places of those that we lost," she said.

Johnson said she hopes that this year's seniors can help make up the difference.

All-SEC honorable mention swimmer Conner Rand will provide the team's sprinting and backstroke, and the team will also rely on All-Conference honorable mention swimmers Matt Henry and Adam Raymond.

"[The team is] looking forward to this year," Johnson said. "They know they have some fast kids, and they know they've been working hard, just trying to win more meets this year."

Park will kick off the season against all of their conference opponents at the annual Suburban East Conference relay meet in Stillwater on December 8.