Erin Dickerman witnessed Lake Normans swim team at its best.The senior hopes to rely on her experience to lift her team back to that level.Dickerman has been swimming competitively for most of her life, starting when she was 6.Second-year Wildcat head coach David Tucker said that the 17-year-olds experience shows in the pool.It makes her a very versatile, consistent swimmer for the team, he said.I can count on her to swim virtually every stroke and score in the top five against about any team. Shes just that good.Dickerman, whose best stroke is the butterfly, also takes pride in being able to help her Wildcats.I can step up and do wherever the team needs me to score points for them, she said. Im always there for the team.Dickerman has qualified to the state meet in each of her first three years as a Wildcat.Last season, she competed in the 200-yard individual medley as well as in the 200-medley and 400-freestyle relay teams.Dickerman also qualified at states in the 200-yard individual medley as a sophomore.Already swimming some regional-qualifying time, she hopes to return to the state championships later this season and to make finals both individually and on her relay teams.Dickermans versatility not only gives Lake Norman depth, but it also allows her to be a leader on the team.Shes always been cool, calm and collected because shes been swimming for so long, said Tucker. We have several young freshmen who are very good, and they really look up to her to see how she reacts to different situations.Spreading her knowledge of the sport with her teammates was important for Dickerman.I just want to share my love for it with them, she said.Although Dickerman rarely practices with her Lake Norman squad, instead working out with her SwimMAC Carolinas club team, she makes an effort to get to know her teammates during gatherings or bus rides to meets.Even though its an individual sport, you become almost family with your teammates, Dickerman said.She trains year-round with SwimMAC, spending about 20 hours a week on improving her skills.Dickerman practices seven times a week, sometimes before and after school on the same day as well as on weekends. Thats in addition to school and club meets.Shes an extremely hard worker, said Tucker. Shes focused on her swimming, her goals. That makes her a top-level swimmer.Tucker has also been impressed by the dedication some of his other swimmers have shown.Courtney Fulton, Maddy Gillman and Elle Tucker, the coachs daughter, have shown improvement and have been consistent this season.Senior Morgan Holbrook has also contributed with her versatility, swimming the very opposite 50- and 500-yard freestyle races.Its almost unheard of to have a distance swimmer and a sprinter in the same body, said Tucker.Freshman Kalyn Fetter, who stands out in the butterfly and the individual medley, has also shown potential for the Wildcats.On the boys team, freshman sprinter Brody Heck has led the way. His older brother, Logan, holds eight Lake Norman school records and now swims at UNC.Charles Blinn and Austin Hill have also made an impact for the Wildcats, while former basketball player John Suther has also had a strong seasonAlthough Lake Norman graduated several state qualifiers, Tucker thinks that this years squad may be deeper and has high hopes for his relay teams.With a loaded Hough team standing in the way, the Wildcats could have a tough time competing for I-Meck team titles.But if the Wildcats push themselves, anything could happen.We are getting better every week, said Tucker. So who knows?
Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013
Erin Dickermans versatility allows her to lead Lake Norman
Lake Norman senior Erin Dickerman helps her swim team with her versatility. The 17-year-old is a three-time state qualifer and hopes to make a return to the 4A meet at the end of the season. SERGIO TOVAR - email@example.com
Tovar: 704-358-5941; Twitter: @sergiotovar
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