Cleveland Heights swimming coach Daniel Budin has plenty of enthusiasm and high expectations for the Tigers this winter.
Despite the graduation of some talented seniors off last year’s squad – and the unusual circumstances of an offseason dealing with Covid-19 – Budin looks forward to a strong season in the pool for Heights.
2020-2021 SEASON PREVIEW
RETURNING STARTERS – Budin said he has an impressive group of returning team members, especially the juniors and seniors. We graduated six senior girls after last season, one of which was a district qualifier and is now swimming at Hiram, but the core group is back as 3rd-and 4th-year team members. The Tigers have two sectional champions returning in James Huff and Aidan Peters. All but one of last year’s ditricts qualifiers are returning: Huff, Peters, Ari Inwood, Emmet Fluharty, Andrew Teets and Patricia Chen. Other sophomores and juniors have stepped up and will be in the mix for districts and beyond.
PROMISING NEWCOMERS – “We have some strong freshman swimmers coming in this season, most of whom have been training with our Tigersharks program since middle school or younger. Some of them will compete for spots on the top relays this year,” Budin said.
“Obviously, the pandemic has made things challenging for all teams and sports. I’m really proud of how this team has adapted. We had a lot of momentum coming out of last season and a full team that was energized for the off-season training program, only to have everything shut down in March. They really invested themselves this summer and fall to get back to where they were last year and they really committed to embracing the challenges of working through all things related to the pandemic and its obstacles,” Budin said. “The boys team should be in range for some school records this year, including a relay record that has stood for 55 years and was at one time a state record. Both teams should be in position to win most of their regular-season meets and advance swimmers deep into the state tournament.”