The Fort Dodge girls swim team has been turned over to a new head coach, but this one has a familiar face.
Veteran assistant Rosie Ellendson has been given control of the program beginning this fall, and she will rely on a strong returning nucleus to help lead the Dodgers.
Seniors Katy Bocken, Zoey Miller and Angie Ellendson - the daughter of Rosie - all are back for their fourth year with the Fort Dodge program. They are joined by seniors Nicole Cook and Katie Donnelly, who are both in their second seasons.
"All five seniors bring a great deal of leadership to our team," Ellendson said. "They are all very dedicated members of the program and are great role models for the underclassmen."
Miller and Donnelly will each be used in several freestyle events and the backstroke, while Cook excels in diving.
Bocken's plans include the 200 I.M., breaststroke, backstroke and freestyle, while Ellendson swims the freestyle, backstroke and butterly.
FORT DODGE GIRLS SWIM
Seniors - Katy Bocken, Nicole Cook, Katie Donnelly, Angie Ellendson, Zoey Miller,
Juniors - Allison Boswell, Jennifer Bentz, Erika Farr, Alyssa Nehring, Shay Saathoff, Amanda Schaffer, Rose Tourney, Lauren Underwood, Rebecca Steig, Emily Knight,
Sophomores - Carrie Gerdes, Mary O'Connell, Ryann Dawson, Elli Russell, Michael Hiracheta.
Freshmen - Bekah Henkelman, Ashley Graham, Rachel Rethwisch, Macenzie Leffler, Myca Lee, Molly Hiveley, Josie Blankenbrug.
(All meets start at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)
Aug. 28 - Dowling, 5:30 p.m.; 30 - at Des Moines North.
Sept. 4 - at Waukee, 5 p.m.; 8 - at Ames Invitational, 10 a.m.; 11 - Ames/Perry, 5:30 p.m.; 13 - host Fort Dodge Invitational, 6 p.m.; 18 - at Ankeny; 25 - at Johnston, 5:30 p.m.
Oct. 2 - at Marshalltown, 5:30 p.m.; 4 - Carroll/Spencer, 5:30 p.m.; 9 - Mason City, 5:30 p.m.; 16 - host CIML Invitational (diving only), 5 p.m.; 18 - host CIML Invitational (swimming only), 5 p.m.
"We have the ability to really use all five of those girls where we need to the most," Ellendson said. "They are all willing to do whatever is needed to help the team."
A total of 27 swimmers are on the team, and that includes girls from Fort Dodge, St. Edmond, Humboldt and Webster City.
"With four different schools, you can run into trouble trying to get everyone to buy into what you are trying to accomplish," Ellendson said. "But these girls have all really meshed together well."
With just a handful of practices to work with, Ellendson is trying to put together the best relay teams possible.
"Our short-team goals are to improve our times each week," Ellendson said. "We would also like to win more dual meets and win our own invite. Our long-term goal for this year is to have as many events as possible make it to the state swim meet in Nov."
Last year, the Dodgers were unable to advance any qualifiers to state.
Ellendson will be assisted by Shawn Russell and Christine Gruber this year.
Fort Dodge opens the season Aug. 28 at home against Dowling. They will host their own invite on Sept. 13 and also entertain the rest of the CIML teams on Oct. 16 (diving) and 18 (swimming) for the league Invitational.