BUCKHANNON – The Buckhannon-Upshur swim teams will have a new coach directing them this season as Kelly Terhune was recently named the mentor of the two squads.
She will inherit a pair of teams short on depth and experience, but she is excited for the opportunity to lead the swim teams.
“I was a swim instructor when I was in college and I ran track, there is a lot of overlap in the workouts in those two sports,” stated Terhune. “So, I know how to develop strokes, which is beneficial since we have athletes that haven’t swam competitively. My daughter Mallory is on the team as well so that played into it, but I really felt like I could do this well. I am not going to do something if I don’t think I can do it well. Everybody has been great in helping me with this move.”
Terhune is the third swim coach in the last three years, but she said the transition for the team has been an easy one.
“I have known most of the team for such a long time,” stated Terhune. “Honestly, they are just appreciative that someone stepped up to coach them. I wasn’t going to let them go without a coach. I was initially concerned about planning practices, but I feel I have that down now. The proof will be in the pudding in a few days.”
The Lady Buc roster will show seven swimmers with four having high school experience. The four returnees are senior Lillian Fetty, juniors Chloe Blonn and Sammie Shay and sophomore Rylee Yardley. Newcomers include Mallory Hughes (who missed last season due to injury) and freshmen Elizabeth Hurst and Karson Karickhoff.
The Buc roster has five swimmers on it with two returnees in senior Jackson Malone and junior Carter Zuliani. The three newcomers are all freshmen in Riley Bender, Johnny Chen, and Aidan Squires.
Terhune said the preseason has gone well for her two squads.
“Our preseason went well,” said Terhune. “They have been eager to swim and be in the pool. They are working hard and putting in the time. We have been upping our yardage each week.”
Terhune said she believes the girls team has a chance to surprise some people this year.
“I think we can surprise some teams on the girls’ side,” remarked Terhune. “We have some girls that maybe don’t have that name recognition yet, but they are swimming really well in practice. I think we have some young talent that is going to show up this year. The boys’ team is still a work in progress overall because of all the new swimmers, but on both teams, I think we are going to be dropping times as the season moves forward. Both teams are working so hard right now.”
Terhune said she isn’t quite sure what her expectations are for her two teams as the preseason schedule gives way to the regular season.
“Just based on our depth, I don’t know how many meets we will win as a team,” said Terhune. “What we will be concerned about is how we are doing individually and focus on that. How to get our individual times down as the season progresses. We will focus on the individual victories rather than a team victory. At this point, it is hard to say what our expectations are because I am still finding out what we can do. I think we can do a lot better than anyone thinks we can. Like I said, they are working so hard.”
While most B-U teams have the chance to practice right after school, the swim Bucs practice at the West Virginia Wesleyan pool, which means they have to adjust their schedule around the two Bobcat swim teams, sometimes starting practice at 8 p.m.
“Wesleyan is very gracious with the use of their pool, but we take the earliest time we can get,” joked Terhune. “I thought it would be difficult practicing that late, but all the kids can make it at that time, and it really isn’t that big of a deal to them. It is what it is, and it has always been that way. I knew what I was getting into. We get in a 6:30 p.m. practice on Wednesdays and Fridays which is nice.”
Assisting Terhune this year will be Hannah Lunsford.
“She is in the school system, she sees the kids every day,” explained Terhune. “She will be very beneficial to the team.”
Both teams were slated to get their season underway on Wednesday in a University quad. They currently have six regular season meets but Terhune said there could be additions to the schedule.
They will swim again in dual meet with Elkins on Nov. 29.
B-U LADY BUC ROSTER
B-U BUCCANEER ROSTER
BUCKHANNON-UPSHUR SWIM SCHEDULE
Nov. 15 – at University quad with Morgantown, University and Liberty
Nov. 29 – at Elkins dual
Dec. 20 – Home meet with Philip Barbour and Grafton
Dec. 22 – at Bridgeport tri with Bridgeport and Elkins
Jan. 4 – Home meet with East Fairmont
Jan. 6 – at Morgantown for Mohawk Invitational
Jan. 27 – at Bridgeport in Big 10 Conference Championships
Feb. 3 – at Region I Championships
Feb. 15-16 – at Morgantown in West Virginia State High School Championships
*More meets could be added to the schedule