The Tigard teams boast a large number of swimmers this year

by: DAN BROOD - THE CAPTAIN -- Emily Pfieffer will serve as a captain for the Tigard High School girls swim team this season.TIGARD — Most of the Tiger swimmers are pretty young.

But there are a lot of them.

And that’s got the Tigard High School swim teams optimistic as the 2012-2013 season continues.

“It’s looking pretty good,” Tigard coach John Ruzicka said. “We’re very young, but we had a huge turnout this year. That’s a good sign.”

The Tigard boys team is looking to improve on last year’s 1-6 record in Pacific Conference dual meets.

“We’ll do better than last season,” Ruzicka said. “We’ve got a lot of new swimmers, but they’re all pushing each other. We’ll be competitive.”

Among the top returnees for the Tigard boys is senior Elliott Branen, who will compete in the sprints and the butterfly.

Sophomore Caleb Torgerson also returns. He should also compete in the sprints.

“But we can put him in anything,” Ruzicka said.

The Tigard boys should also be bolstered by freshman newcomer Kyle Miller, who will likely swim in the distance freestyle events.

“We can also put him in anything,” Ruzicka said. “He might be our best all-around swimmer.”

Senior Michael Joseph, the team captain, is another swimmer that could compete in any event for the Tigers.

Sophomore Ryan Caufield should also contribute.

“He’s really stepped up this year,” Ruzicka said.

Freshman Jonathan Irving should compete in the sprints or the backstroke for the Tigers.

The Tigard boys are 1-2 in Pacific Conference meets so far this season.

The Tigard girls are looking to replace a strong group of seniors from last year’s squad that went 3-4 in league dual meets a year ago.

The Tigers have three freshmen who could possibly help fill that void.

One of those freshmen, Molly Davis, could give the team some versatility.

“We could put her in about anything,” Ruzicka said.

Freshman Sage Wegehaupt will swim in the breaststroke.

“She’s starting to turn it on,” Ruzicka said.

The third freshman, Megan Ellis will focus on the backstroke, but she, too, could compete in most any event.

Among the returnees for the Tigard girls is junior Kayla Wagenhofer, who will compete in the sprints.

“She’s started the season swimming faster than she did last year,” Ruzicka said.

Sophomore returnee Liz Irving will swim in the butterfly or the 500-yard freestyle.

Senior returnee Emily Pfieffer will serve as team captain and swim in the sprints and backstroke.

“She’s really working hard this year,” Ruzicka said. “I think she’s got the senior bug, and really wants to give it her all.”

The Tigard girls are also off to a 1-2 start in league competition to start the season.

The Tiger teams will be back in action today (Thursday) when they host Hillsboro in a Pacific Conference dual meet set to start at 4 p.m. at the Tigard Swim Center.

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