The San Lorenzo Valley and Scotts Valley high school swim teams are in the hunt again for the coveted Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League title.
San Lorenzo Valley
The Cougars’ star swimmer, Devon Northcutt, will lead the boys squad in the freestyle and breaststroke events.
“We will have our work cut out for us this year,” said SLV boys coach Ned Hern. “This year, we have ourselves a very talented team, but the league as a whole seems to be on an upswing. Harbor, Aptos and Santa Cruz are always tough. Jeff Wickum at Santa Cruz told me that they have the best squad he has ever coached, so there will be a lot on our plates this year.”
The girls will be led by captain Tess Kersten and teammates Haley Smith, Marissa Petras and Jillian Fulton.
Girls head coach Aaron Conger sees the Cougars finishing in the middle of the pack as a team, with a few individual champions.
The Falcons will work their way back up from the bottom as the team still practices and competes out of the San Lorenzo Valley High School pool.
Head coach Mike Ayers again has some kinks to work out for the season, as the boys team consists of just one swimmer, sophomore Ben Shaw.
“Ben is it for the boys side of things,” Ayers said. “He will be swimming (junior varsity) but competing against varsity swimmers, which is good for him. He is definitely getting better because he’s going up against that level of competition.”
The girls at Scotts Valley will be captained by senior Aria Leonard and sophomore Grace Ransler.
“Grace was just such a natural leader that I felt we had to give her one of the leadership positions,” Ayers said. “Aria is one of our top club swimmers and will definitely make a big impact for us in her senior season.”
The Falcons and Cougars are the only two teams in the SCCAL with diving programs. Both are coached at the SLV pool by Bill Sales.