INDEPENDENCE — As has been the case recently, Central High has a decent group of athletes out for swimming, and more girls than boys.

The Panthers have been practicing for their first meet, which will be Thursday, Dec. 2 versus Dallas, Silverton and host North Salem at the Kroc Center.

The Panthers’ squad total is about average and includes a handful who also swim for the Blue Dolphins swim club, said coach Jesse Genualdi, who took over as Central coach in 2018 and was previously an assistant coach at the school.

Junior Taylor Hagedorn is a standout among the Central girls. Two years ago, she was strong in the 200 freestyle and 500 free, placing third and second, respectively. She was the only girl from the Panthers to compete at state, but her nine points boosted Central to 10th among teams.

Her sister, freshman Gentry Hagedorn, also has state meet potential, Genualdi said.

Katelyn Landis is a sophomore best suited for the middle and long distances.

Among the boys, freshman Cash Hagedorn and sophomore Haven Wenzel are likely to do sprints to mid-distance events.

Genualdi also keeps busy with swimming in two other ways. He coaches the Blue Dolphins, moving up after five years as an assistant.

And he is a member of the swim team at Linfield College. He’s a senior and full-time student majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology and potentially on a pre-med path.

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