Numbers in the Muscatine girls swimming and diving team's senior class are sparse.
The leadership that seniors Sarah Schoer, Makenzi Day and Jessica Ahluwalia have provided as the team's captains has not been.
Those three have been responsible for helping set a positive example for a team that swam seven freshmen in the varsity lineup during a 122.50-33.50 conference dual victory against Davenport West on Senior Night Monday in Muscatine.
"I've definitely had to take a role of leadership in getting the new swimmers used to the team, the expectations and everything," Schoer said. "But otherwise it's the same kind of bond with the people. It's just new people."
Schoer picked up two of eight individual event wins for the Muskies on Monday, finishing first in the 100 freestyle in 1 minute, 1.05 seconds and the 100 backstroke in 1:15.13. She also anchored home the winning 200 medley relay team that included Ellie Storr, Abby Lear and Jillian Hillbrant.
In all, the Muskies won 11 of the 12 varsity events. They also finished runner-up seven times against a Davenport West team that is low in overall numbers.
Ahluwalia was on the Muskies' 200 medley relay team that finished third and edged Day by 1.50 seconds in the JV 100 freestyle. Day, though, clipped Ahluwalia by .12 seconds in the JV 50 freestyle.
"It's been super fun," Day said of her first year swimming for Muscatine after playing volleyball in previous years. "It's a really welcoming team and everybody's super nice. Obviously I've never been a senior before, so it's fun leading a group of people."
While Schoer has been with the team since she was a freshman, Day and Ahluwalia entered the fall with one combined year of experience swimming for Muscatine.
"It's a very small group obviously," coach Judd Anderson said of the seniors. "One of them, Makenzi Day, this is her first swimming any experience, maybe taking a bath is the other one. Jessica Ahluwalia came to swimming last year for the first time.
"... Sarah takes charge, knows what's expected and tries to instill that in the younger kids and help them figure out what high school swimming is all about."
Those younger kids Anderson referenced have had a smooth transition to the high school level.
In addition to swimming on the winning 200 medley relay, freshman Abby Lear took first in the 100 butterfly in 1:05.64 and 100 breaststroke in 1:15.82. She was also on the Muskie 200 freestyle relay team that swam solo with no competition.
Freshman Aubrey Sneddon added a title in the 200 freestyle and was a member of the winning 200 and 400 free relay teams, while freshman Ellie Storr won the 500 freestyle in 6:05.61.
The other event winners for Muscatine were sophomore Holly Hilbrant in the 200 individual medley in 2:57.98 and sophomore Jillian Hilbrant in the 50 freestyle in 27.31.
"We didn't have huge time drops, but we swam a few off events," Anderson said. "We tried to put some kids in there to make it somewhat competitive for the other kids. We had a couple good swims, Jillian Hilbrant in the 50 free was a good swim for her, and Sarah's 100 free was a good swim. Now we start playing with district lineups and try to figure out what's going to fit everybody the best there."