Posted: Wednesday, 30 January 2013 5:22PM

Athlete of the Week: Glendale swimming relay

If Glendale High School ever needs extra members for its dance squad, the girls’ swimming team might have a few options.

The Lady Falcons have dominated the local swimming scene this winter, and are preparing for the state championships Feb. 15-16 in St. Peters. While their performances in the pool garner attention, so does their warm-up routine.

“We all get in circle and do ‘Little Sally Walker,’” said junior Nikki Sisson. “Basically, you call someone out and do a dance in front of them, then you switch places and they have to the same dance. Then, that person runs inside the circle and when the chant ends, they stop in front of whomever and break it down.”

“Then you repeat; it just keeps going and going like that.”

It’s not an activity you’ll see at most swim meets.

“I think it intimidates a lot of people,” said Sisson, half laughing.

Added sophomore Madeline Nelson: “Everybody thinks we’re pretty weird.”

But you can get away with such activities when you’re as good as the Lady Falcons have been. Glendale has been the top team in the area again this winter, winning the Ozark Invitational on Jan. 5 and finishing second to Notre Dame de Sion at the Springfield Invitational Jan. 26.

Glendale is aiming for a state team title, something no school from the Ozarks has ever won. The Lady Falcons finished second to Rock Bridge last year and entered this season without stalwarts Gretchen Stein, Anna Leonard and Sarah Powell.

Stein won the 200 freestyle, while Leonard and Powell were contributors on top-4 relay teams at state. Two freshmen have stepped in and kept the Lady Falcons going.

Macie Beairsto and Kaylee Sisson fill two of the spots on Glendale’s 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams, which both currently rank No. 1 in the state. Joining them are Nelson and Kaylee’s older sister, Nikki.

The Lady Falcons have timed 1:40.92 in the 200 and 3:40.73 in the 400.

“We’d like to go to the state championship and do real well there,” said Glendale coach Steve Boyce. “Our ultimate goal is to get top 4 as a team, get on that podium. The relays could be very exciting.”

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