STRASBURG — Mountain View might not compete for a state title this year in swimming, but the Generals have plenty of individuals that could compete at the state level.

The Generals have a small squad with only seven swimmers on each team, but coach Lea Ann Overton said some of the swimmers have some real promise.

"If I hadn't taken eighth graders my first year I wouldn't have a team at all, but those eighth graders that I took my first year are powerhouses," Overton said last week before practice at Signal Knob Recreation Center. "They've gone to states their ninth grade year, their 10th grade year. Because my numbers are so small we won't be competitive probably as a team. But I still think these individuals will do well and that's probably our goal for the season. It's always my goal to be better than day one, and my goal is to see how many kids I can can get to qualify at regionals for states."

The boys team finished tied for 12th in the Class 2 state meet last season. They will be led by junior Steven Shelton and sophomore Stuart Pirtle.

"I think things are coming together pretty well," Pirtle said. "We're starting to look a lot more like a team."

Shelton finished 10th in the 500 free (58.86) at last season's state meet. Pirtle finished 10th in the 50 free (26.64) at the state meet.

"I know for a lot of us it was our first time (at states)," Shelton said. "I think we will have more people (qualify for states) this year than last year."

Pirtle said going to states was a great experience for the whole team last season and it's something they can build on.

"States last year was certainly amazing," Pirtle said. "Our whole team, we all worked together. We did lose a lot of seniors, but we gained a lot of good people, new faces on the team this year. I think this year we have the potential to do as good as we did last year and maybe even better."

Pirtle and Shelton helped the boys team finish sixth in the 400 free relay (4:09.25) at the state meet last season. Pirtle and Tai Croushore helped lead the 200 free relay (1:51.50) to a 10th place finish at the state meet.

The Mountain View girls finished tied for 18th in last year's Class 2 state meet. They return several key swimmers, including Ashlyn Whitman, Rosa Martin, Destiny Iverson and Jordyn and Jayden Foster.

"I think they're going to do real well this year," Overton said.

Martin, a junior, said she likes what she's seen from the team so far.

"Our team is not the same as last year's team, we got two new members," Martin said. "But they're getting used to it, and we hope they like it and get even more into it."

Iverson said the coaches have helped the swimmers a lot and they've already shown improvement.

"The team looks good," Iverson said. "The coaches have helped a lot with us. I know my times have improved a lot since being with Lea Ann (Overton) and (assistant coach) Ethan (Coleman). They're very supportive of all of us."

Jordyn Foster, Whitman, Martin and Iverson finished ninth in the 200 free relay (2:10.78) at the Class 2 state meet last season. Jordyn and Jadyn Foster, Iverson and Whitman finished 10th in both the 200 medley relay (2:36.92) and the 400 free relay (4:54.57) last season in the Class 2 state meet.

The Generals open their season Saturday by hosting Broadway at 4:30 p.m.

Iverson said the most important thing for the team is to keep improving.

"I just want to beat my times from last year and just improve," Iverson said.

Contact Tommy Keeler Jr. at tkeeler@nvdaily.com

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