At the start of the season, Foran Head Coach Kristin Skuches never would have guessed how this season was going to go. After losing nine seniors from a talented class last season, Skuches was elated to see her team finish with a 7-4 record in the dual meet season – the Lady Lions’ best finish since joining the SCC in 2004.
“We lost some deep talent last year, but replaced it with a lot of heart and desire this year,” Skuches said. “The dual meet record was completely unexpected, and it says a lot for the training and time these girls put in the pool and on the board.”
Integral in the team’s success was Senior, Cara Dube. Dube began capping off a great high school career with a tremendous showing at the SCC Championship. At that meet, Dube shined with a eighth place finish in the 200 IM (2:19.30) and she shattered the existing school record in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:00.89, taking third place and earning All-SCC honors. According to Skuches, “We knew a week before at our meet against Law that something special was going to happen with Cara over the next three weeks. She swam unbelievably well. I couldn’t be happier for her.”
Dube is the first Foran swimmer or diver to achieve All-SCC honors on the girls’ team.
At the Class “M” State Meet, the team’s focus this year was on individual and relay results as opposed to team points. Freshman, Sarah Fitzgerald, proved that she will be a force to come over the next several years as she not only placed an impressive eighth in the 100 Breaststroke, but also shattered the school record in that event with a time of 1:12.91. “Sarah peaked at the perfect time. She’s a strong, and focused competitor,” said Skuches.
The biggest surprise of the meet for Foran was arguably the 200 Medley Relay of Dube, Hannah Johnson, Fitzgerald and Erica Hanson. The girls broke the existing school record in that event with a time of 2:00.43. “That record has been broken each of the last three years,” said Skuches. “We weren’t sure at first if they could do it again, but they were hungry and just went after it. It was a great team effort by all of the girls.”
Also at the state meet, Dube continued her post-season success with a fourth place finish in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:01.12. That time qualified her for the State Open Swim Meet, a meet in which Foran hasn’t had a swimmer represent them since Krystin Sayball in 1999.
“That was a great achievement for Cara,” Skuches said. “That meet was incredibly hard to qualify for this year. It was great to have Cara represent Foran with the elite swimmers in the state.”
For her performances over the past few weeks, Dube was named the SCC Division II Swimmer of the Year and Skuches was named the SCC Division II Coach of the Year.
“Hard work really does pay off,” Cara said, explaining that she walked into swimming practice this year with a different mindset. “I think I became more focused on the hard work that I needed to put into swimming rather than just going to practice to practice,” she said.
Seeing as this is her senior year, she really wanted to excel. She plans to swim in college.
“I’m so grateful,” Cara said. “I couldn’t ask for a better way to end my high school swimming career.”
Coach Skuches, she said, is very modest and didn’t even tell the team right away that she was honored as the division’s Coach of the Year.
“We were talking about my award for about 20 minutes and then I asked her who got Division II coach of the year,” Cara said. “She just smiled.”