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Girls swimming: Silver Creek’s Siedem looking to bounce back

Amanda Siedem looks to improve on last year's performance at state, in which she took eighth in the 100 freestyle and 11th in the backstroke.
Joshua Buck/Times-Call
Amanda Siedem looks to improve on last year’s performance at state, in which she took eighth in the 100 freestyle and 11th in the backstroke.

Amanda Siedem’s skeleton still was reverberating from the jarring collision, and already she understood she was in deep trouble.

All it took was once glance at the discolored lump that once was her right wrist for Siedem to realize her senior softball season was ending prematurely. It took little more than a second glance for Siedem to turn her sights toward doing everything in her power to be ready for the girls swimming season.

Siedem, a softball standout and swimming star for Silver Creek, suffered a sudden and unexpected end to her Raptors softball career when an outfield collision with a teammate on Oct. 17 left Siedem with a broken right wrist. While it still will be a few weeks before Siedem is up to speed in the pool, she is more than eager to make sure her final memory of Raptors athletics is not an unfortunate collision and ill-timed injury.

“Swimming has always meant a lot to me and always will, but softball and swimming have always been two different things for me,” Siedem said. “I’m thankful that I have always been able to keep them apart like that. I knew I’d lose some time at the beginning (of swimming), but even right away I knew I’d be back in the water.”

Siedem suffered her injury just two days after going a combined 3-for-7 with three runs scored during Silver Creek’s decisive victories against Woodland Park and Widefield in the regional tournament, wins that secured a state tournament bid for the Raptors.

While the Raptors eventually fell in the Class 4A quarterfinals against Thompson Valley, Siedem was recovering from surgery in which she received three temporary pins to help stabilize the fracture. Siedem had the pins removed on Nov. 21 and hopes to return to the pool this week, although she likely will not compete until after the holiday break.

“I can get back in the water (this week) after my skin has healed,” Siedem said. “For about three weeks or so I can do as much as the wrist can take until I’m ready to go. It’s mostly just about strengthening it. The only thing I might have to work on is going into the wall hard on the backstroke. I usually go in on my right, but I’ll have to go with my left until my right wrist is feeling better.”

An All-Region selection in softball, Siedem is planning to build on last year’s solid swimming season, despite the injury setback.

Siedem excelled last season in her primary events, the backstroke and the 100 freestyle. She placed eighth at the Class 4A state finals in the 100 freestyle and 11th in the backstroke and is aiming to collect top-eight finishes in both events this season.

Siedem also swam a leg on Silver Creek’s sixth-place 400 freestyle relay and also contributed to the Raptors’ 11th-place finish in the medley relay. However, Siedem will be counted on to assume a larger leadership role this season, as Silver Creek graduated the other three swimmers on each of those relay teams.

It is a task Silver Creek swim coach Debbie Stewart believes is a natural fit for the dual-sport star.

“Where her two sports complement her is in her competitiveness,” Stewart said. “I’ve coached Amanda in summer swim leagues since she was six, and she has always been a tremendous athlete. I don’t think it would’ve mattered which sport she took to, she would have excelled.

“She will be a little behind, but I think by the time state rolls around she’ll be where she wants to be. She’ll work all the harder to get back up there. I definitely see her making the top 16, maybe even the top eight, in her events.”