West Fargo swim team adjusts to new coach after troubling events


Ragen Diemer, Staff Writer

        The girls swim team has experienced an unexpected midseason shift. Swim coach Ronald Hehn was released from his coaching position Sept. 13 due to inappropriate coaching practices, according to a district statement. Hehn put weights on swimmers as they practiced swimming up from the bottom of a 13-foot pool.

       Freshman Olivia Hettinger said Hehn had four girls swim with 30 pound swim belts. Due to the heavy weight, girls were struggling to make it to the surface of the pool.

       Hettinger is in her third year as a Packer swimmer.

        “Although no lifeguard had to jump in the pool to assist a swimmer they stood by and offered a hand to one when she struggled to get to the surface of the pool,” Hettinger said.

       Sophomore Jadyn Iverson participated in swimming with weights.

       “It was difficult and scary,” Iverson said. “The team dynamic was a little different following him being fired, but I feel that it has gone back to how it was before.”

       Though losing a coach towards the end of the swim season could be difficult for a team’s performance, the WFHS swim team is making best of an unexpected situation.

       Sophomore Lexi Doeling is in her fourth year on a swim team, but only her second year with West Fargo.

       “At first this caused some comments to be made within the team, but only because some girls who hadn’t been at this practice had different opinions. This situation has kind of drained my motivation, but my performance has not changed within meets and practice,” Doeling said. “Getting a new coach has even improved some of our swimmers performance due to new coaching methods.”

      Hehn’s replacement is Barb Fischer, who is also the boys swim coach. Hedinger said she brings new coaching methods that could help swimmers better themselves within the pool and grow closer as a team.

       “With a different coach there’s now coaching styles, I think this could be better for the team,” Hettinger said.