CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – The Bridgeport swim team is coming off another impressive season in the pool last year. The Indians are looking for more hardware this season, which is why we continue our winter sports team previews with them.
Bridgeport’s Jan Grisso was named the state’s high school swimming coach of the year at the 2020 state meet.
Longtime assistant, Wendy Madden, will fill in for Grisso, who won’t be with the team this season. But that’s practically the only big change for the Indians, whose boys swim team earned a second-consecutive Top 2 finish in the state last season.
“They have a very solid team. They have enough to pull off probably three good relays. They are in a good position this year,” said Madden. “I’m very excited for senior, Marcel Rodriguez. I’m excited for Luke Pinti who’s also a senior. And we have Mason Titchenal, who’s coming up.”
Madden and the Indians return plenty of talent from last season, including junior Randy Keener, who finished in first place in three different events at the state meet.
“Randy has an innate feel for the water. I’ve been swimming my whole life, I’ve been coaching my whole life, and you don’t see somebody with the water feel that he has, the instinct to adapt his stroke, to adapt what his body is best at to make that happen in the water. It’s a special talent.”Wendy Madden, Bridgeport Swim assistant coach
Meanwhile, the Bridgeport girls won a state championship in 2019, but were left off the podium in 2020. Madden feels confident in her girls, though, with Cheyanne Rohde and Marra Johnson leading the way.
“Really that junior class is where the strength is,” Madden said. “Hard workers, they are hard workers. Cheyanne is more like Randy, she just has that natural water feel, she’s got a talent for it. She’s just got an instinct of how to move through the water. Marra works harder than anyone I’ve ever seen. She works in the pool, out of the pool, she’s just a hard worker.”
With a short preseason, and an offseason that didn’t include much competitive swimming, Madden is implementing a new workout regimen during practice. She’s hoping that can get her team in swimming shape quickly.
The other thing that will help get Bridgeport ready for this season is motivation to makeup for last year’s misstep during the state meet, as the Indians relay team was disqualified from the 200 medley relay.
But Madden said the team handled the adversity well.
Bridgeport’s swim season will consist of five meets, and begins next week.