Nixa swimming

Nixa's swim team includes (front row, l-r) Abby Martin, Hannah McCormick, Payge Plank, Laura Mitchell, (second row, l-r) Emma Romine, Bryi Hargrove, Ellie Turnbull, Sophie Dunn, (third row, l-r) Lauren Buffington, Ellie Jett, Grace Mueller, Sloane Lawson, (back row, l-r) Grace Steck, Brianna Connell, Reece Vess and Fiona Webster.

The plan for Nixa coach Pete Hill is to give all his swimmers a chance to prove themselves across the board this season.

“He has told us everyone is going to have to swim every event at least once during the year to see who fits in what spot,” sprinter Ellie Turnbull said.

Turnbull is among a handful of Lady Eagles who Hill has tabbed as the team’s leaders. That group also includes Payge Plank, Sloane Lawson, Ellie Jett and Brianna Connell.

“They were good strong contributors last year and should be strong again,” Hill said. “I’m super excited to see where we go with this group of girls.”

Turnbull recorded a personal-best of 25.8 in the 500 freestyle last season. A time of 25.4 would have earned her a berth to State.

Hill may have Turnbull follow the same routine as Olivia Stoneman did last season on her way to medaling at State. Stoneman competed in long-distance events during the season

“Sprinting is more my thing,” Turnbull said. “I don’t really like the longer events. But I think they could really help build up endurance.I do like the 200 IM and I like to do all the strokes.

Turnbull draws motivation competing against Ozark sprinter Claire George, who was 14th at State ion the 100 freestyle last season.

“She’s a little faster than me,” Turnbull said. “She pushes me to go harder.”

Nixa will compete in the COC Championships on Jan. 30 and take part in the SWMO Championships Feb. 7-8.

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