Viera swimmers working for another strong postseason


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There are 15 seniors on this year's Viera High swimming team.

Courtesy of Viera swimming

There are a lot of changes around the Viera High School swimming program this year.

But one thing that hasn’t changed is that the students are enjoying a good season.

“It’s been very fun,” senior Kennedy Hewitt said. “We’ve had a lot of new swimmers this year and I think they’ve all gotten really comfortable with the water and the new coaches.”

Chris Beadle and her assistant, Missy Madl, have taken over the program from Morgan Woodard, who stepped down to spend more time with her family after building the Hawks into one of the county’s top programs during a 13-year career.

Hewitt and Bryce Hattrup — also a senior — both said they have enjoyed swimming for Beadle, who has coached club swimming and was previously at Holy Trinity.

Viera’s girls finished third at last month’s Cape Coast Conference tournament while the boys were seventh. Both teams believe they were hurt by a lack of divers.

With the district meet set to take place Nov. 2 at the Rose YMCA Aquatic Center in Orlando, the Hawks are focused on having as many swimmers advance to regionals as possible.

“I think individually, they have great potential going forward,” said Beadle, who added that the team is in a new district this year so the Hawks will be facing some new competition.

Viera’s girls have won nine district titles and are working on quite a winning streak.

“Our girls team has won districts for the past six years,” Hewitt said. “We’re definitely trying to keep that streak of winning. We have a couple of new teams added (to our district), but I think we’ll be good. New competition is good.”

The top swimmers among the girls for Viera this season have been Caroline Maley, Hewitt, Megan Greek, Marin Chapon, Lauren Ernst, Brooklyn Ernst, Maddie Ernst and Leighton Killick.

While the boys only have 19 swimmers, Hattrup believes the Hawks can be competitive in the postseason.

“I believe if we can all swim our best times, we have a good chance of placing high up in districts and regionals,” he said.

Connor Jones, who won the 500 freestyle race at the Cape Coast Conference meet, leads the boys team along with Connor Marks. Other key swimmers include Hattrup, Dan Scougall, Dan Averill, Marcus Rubio, Shane Morrow and Caleb Martin.

Hattrup, who swims the 100 butterfly and the 100 freestyle, finished the 100 freestyle in 56 seconds at this year’s CCC meet. It was his best time in the event this season, just three-tenths of a second off his career best of 55.7 and just seven-tenths away from the school record.

“I’ve tried to break it since freshman year,” Hattrup said. “I’m getting close. I want to beat that.”