Duluth Denfeld Girls

Welcome Athletes and Families to the Duluth Denfeld Girls Swim & Dive Team!!         

The Denfeld Girls swim team has experienced a lot of sucess over the last several years and we expect that growth and success to continue.  Last year was a bit of a "rebuilding" year after the loss of 7 seniors to graduation.  We had a huge influx of new swimmers, all of them making a great impact on our team. We made great improvement over the year and set several team records for individual events (Lindsay Johnson in the 200 free and 500 free, and Keeli Gustafson in the 50 free and 100 Breaststroke), and also our 200 free relay team of Johnson, Gustafson, Hannah Feyen and Cailyn Volkenant.  

Our Swim and Dive Team is broken into two general subgroups:  Varsity and Junior Varsity (JV).  There are different expectations for Varsity vs JV swimmers when it comes to practices, and some swim meets are varsity only meets.  Exactly which team members are Varsity or JV can fluctuate from meet to meet. 

At dual swim meets, we are allowed three varsity individual swimmers in each event. In addition, we can have three entries of every four-swimmer relay (200 Medley relay, 200 Free relay, 400 Free Relay).  We are typically allowed a junior varsity heat or heats as well. 

At larger multi-school invitationals, we are typically allowed 3-4 swimmers per individual event, and there are no JV entries allowed. At invitationals, we are allowed 1-4 relays per relay event, depending on the meet hosts requirements.   On occasion, we may be allowed to enter a jv swimmer or relay if there are open lanes and we are allowed to fill out heats. 



This is the group of swimmers that are typically veteran swimmers and/or those that have seed times that allow them to be one of the 3-4 fastest swimmers on the team per an individual event.  Varsity team members are expected to practice every day after school as well as attend morning practice as scheduled. 


Junior Varsity

This group of swimmers consists of those that do not typically swim in varsity individual events at dual meets, meaning they do not have one of the three top entry seed times from our own team for that event.  It is common that swimmers move between varsity and jv depending on the meet and our opponent.  JV swimmers are expected to attend all afternoon practices, however, morning practice is optional.  JV swimmers may not swim in all meets, as some meets have limited entries for JV and relays.

2019 Season


August 12-November 17

Fall Sports/Parent Meeting – August 7th, 6:00 PM

The Fall sports meeting is at Denfeld High School at 6 pm.  After a general assembly for all sports, we will break out into separate rooms for each sport.   Room assignments will be given out at the general assembly portion. 

Quick Links

Contact Information

Cliff Knettel, Head Coach

Tom Pearson, Activities Director


Assistant Coaches

Jordan Stish, Assistant Coach

Cassi Schwanz, Diving Coach

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Amelia Ashcroft

Rilie Clark

Lindsay Johnson

Web Site

This website serves as the "go-to" for many questions that might arise. Links to the schedule, results, contact information, and more will be available. Additionally, the website is used to send out team reminders and notifications. The volunteers coordinators will rely on the website to sign up workers for all home meets. Food signup for potlucks etc. will become available.

If you have questions about the website, please contact Cliff Knettel at or 218-260-0209.

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Duluth Denfeld High School Registration & Fees

In order to participate on the first day of practice, the following must be completed:

  • School District Activity Fee – Swimming and Diving           $235

You can fill out Denfeld High School registration forms online by going to:

  • Student and parents must be present together to register
  • Must use the students' Google Chrome account - instrucitons are found when you click on activities registration.
  • Payment occurs online through the Parent Portal.  If you do not have a parent portal, you may bring a check to the activities office.  There are reduced rates for Free and Reduced Lunch participants.

*Transfer and Foreign Exchange Students cannot register online and must come in to the Activities Office to begin their registration process.

All students participating in MSHSL sanctioned sports are required to have a Sports Qualifying Physical on file. This form is good for THREE YEARS of participation from the date of the exam and must be current through the end of your sport participation season. 

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Team Equipment and Costs

  1. Fundraising  - There are various fundraising opportunites throughout the year that the swim team members can partake in to earn funds, up to $100 to be used to purchase optional team apparel such as shirts, jackets, hats, etc. 
  2. Team Suit – the team provides a competition Team Suit that is worn at meets only, not at practices.
  3. Swim Cap – The Team provides silicone swim caps with school logo and swimmer last name.
  4. Warm-ups - Denfeld provides a parka that is signed out to the swimmer and must be returned at the end of the season.
  5. Swimmers will be assigned a set of fins that must be returned at the end of the season.

**  All Personal Electronics are to be brought out on the pool deck and/or placed in the office.  If you leave in the locker room, it will disappear. **

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Our program will be defined by the following:

  • Perseverance
  • Self-discipline
  • Ethical behavior
  • Ability to work with others
  • Leadership qualities
  • An understanding of the importance of physical health and fitness
  • Goal-setting and follow-through skills
  • Positive self-image
  • The experience of competition
  • Good sportsmanship

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Athlete Expectations

Our athletes will be committed to upholding themselves to these standards. Athletes will...

  1. Attend and be on time to all practices required of them.
  2. Maintain a high level of commitment to themselves, their team, and their school.  They will make positive decisions that will help them to achieve their goals.
  3. Treat their teammates, coaches, opponents, officials, and themselves with respect.
  4. Respect our facilities.
  5. Maintain a positive attitude and a growth mindset; always striving to reach new heights with each day.
  6. Understand the importance of the TEAM.

Parent Expectations

Parents are expected to provide:

  1. Volunteers for home meets: Organizing and running concession stands, ticket table, coaches room (invitationals, Sections and jamboree), back up timers, etc. 
  2. Support for pot lucks/spaghetti feeds prior to Saturday meets, the Conference Meet and Section Prelims.
  3. Support for team fundraising activities.
  4. Support for the team, the coaching staff, and their athlete.
  5. End of year banquet
  6. Assisting with clothing orders

We Need Parent Leaders in the Following Positions:

1. Concessions Coordinator - Mandy Robbins-Oney and two new families TBD. 

2.  Ticket Sales Coordinator - Samantha Robbins

3.  Meet Computer Operator - Jill Blazevic

4.  Scoreboard Operator - Cassandra Bachtell and one more backup TBD

5. Fundraising Coordinator - Manage swimmer accounts and fundraising activities

6. Hospitatlity Room Coordinator - for large meets only: Beth and Denny Nelson

7. Social Coordinator - Schedule Spaghetti dinners, Senior night, end of the year banquet: Christina Luoma

Coaches Expectations

  1. Be respectful to everyone.
  2. Follow all rules and policies of the MSHSL and ISD 709, they are part of the forms you signed.
  3. BE ON TIME!
  4. Captains are extensions of the coaches.  Captains, you are leaders. Make decisions based on rules and policies and what is good for all.
  5. Complete all of the workout unless special circumstances arise (other commitments, extra studying or attention to homework needed).
  6. Open Communication.

Away Trips/Meets

  1. There will be no overnight trips with exception of the State Meet held one week after the sections.
  2. High School Swimmers:Coaches are responsible for releasing kids from school.This only applies to swimmers in High School, grades 9 -12.
  4. Bus pick- up and Drop off points: Duluth Denfeld Gym Doors.  Middle school students/parents will need to arrange for rides to pick up points.
  5. Parents PLEASE be at the school when we return. It is normally late and cold (we do not have access to school when we get back). No one likes to wait outside. It’s easier for you to wait in a warm car versus your child waiting for you in the cold. Coaches will tell the kids when we are approx. ½ hour from school so they may contact parents for timely pick-up.

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Practice Schedule


  • All swimming practices are at Lincoln Park Middle School.  For Diving we shae a coach with Duluth East and alternate practices between both locations, generally on a weekly basis.  
  • Athletes will participate in practice until after their final competition.
  • Parents of High Schoolers will need to coordinate carpooling to Lincoln if not enough licensed student drivers.  There is no bus transportation from Denfeld to Lincoln. 

August 12-August 30


Monday, August 12

Aug. 13-August 30 M-F  


4:00-6:00 PM @ LPMS

September 3 -November 15
  Monday-Friday  Varsity & JV  3:45-6:00PM  @Lincoln
  M/W/F Varsity Only 6:15-7:45 AM @Lincoln

Diving Schedule is different, and is on a separate schedule that will be given to divers and families.  Diving will start on Aug. 15th.                


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Meet Schedule/State Meet

The meet schedule and results will be posted from the home page of this Website. 

The meet schedule and results will be posted from the home page of the Website and the meet schedule is also found on the Calendar. 

To qualify for the Section Meet, you must meet the Duluth Denfeld Girls Swim Team qualifying time, and be one of Denfeld's four fastest seed times in that event.  Qualifying times are found in the "Documents" Section in the menu bar above.  Swimmers may only enter into two individual events.  Relay placement will be determined by coaching staff with consideration given, but not limited to, previous best times, big meet experience, tapering history and other factors. 

To qualify for the State Meet an athlete must do one of two things:

  1. Place 1st or 2nd in an event at the Varsity Section Meet
  2. Swim a qualifying time in the Finals at the Varsity Section Meet

Click HERE to see this year's qualifying standards to for the State Meet.

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Meet Transportation

New for this season, we will have bus transportation to all local meets, i.e. Proctor-Hermantown and Superior.  All athletes are expected to ride with the team to and from away meets, including these local meets.  The team bus will leave from and return to Duluth Denfeld for all away meets unless otherwise noted. If a swimmer wants to ride home with a parent from an away meet, a parent must fill out and sign a release form prior to the meet and give it to the coach.  Forms may be downloaded from the documents section of the team website. 

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Lettering and Awards

Letters stand for commitment, performance, and leadership. Coach has final say on the earning of a letter. The coaching staff will use the following requirements:

  • Be a swimmer in good standing and with the program for a full season.
  • Have zero drug, alcohol, and tobacco violations as according to MSHSL.
  • Demonstrate proper behavior and sportsmanship throughout the season.

Swimmers must score 50 points to earn a letter. Divers must score 20 points to earn a letter. Points are awarded as follows:

  • Dual meet varsity points (individual):  1st-6 pts, 2nd-4 pts, 3rd-3 pts, 4th-2 pts, 5th-1 pt
  • Dual meet varsity points (relay):  divided by two for dual meets
  • Invites:  individual points divided by three; relay points divided by five
  • True Team - Individual points divided by four; relay points divided by 8
  • Athletes who swim a Section top 16 time or finish in the top half of all divers participating at Sections will earn a letter. 

Awards voted on by team members:  

  • Most Improved 
  • Most Dedicated/Hardest Worker
  • Rookie of the Year
  • Most Valuable

Awards sponsored by other organizations: 

  • All Conference
  • All State 
  • All American

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Required Equipment

Required Equipment

  • Practice suit - no current year team suits (use your previous year team suit)
  • Cap and at least two pairs of goggles, Always have two sets of goggles that fit
  • Snorkel (optional for swimmers only)
  • Water bottle
  • Towels
  • All above plus homework and snacks for the bus and during the meet.
  • We will stop for dinner after away meets so please provide your swimmer with money or pack a dinner to bring with.


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Attendance Policy

Being a member of the team demonstrates that you have made a commitment to the success of the program.  This success requires each member to be reliable and work towards our goals.  Attending all practices, meets, and team functions is mandatory and the first part of this commitment.  The head coach has the final say on all absences and any repercussions. 

  • All team members must arrive on time for all practices, meets, and team functions.
  • If you know in advance that you won’t be attending a meet, you must inform your coach as early as possible.  
  • The coaching staff must be notified by noon the day of an absence due to illness and earlier if known prior.  Coach contact information is found on this page.  Include your name when sending texts.
  • Excused absences are defined as the following:
    • Illness/injury requiring the athlete to miss school or leave school early or not physically be able to complete the workout or meet.
    • Other school or swimming and diving reasons communicated and approved in advance with the head coach.
  • Unexcused absences can result in the athlete not being able to compete and removal from the team.
    • Following the 1st and 2nd unexcused absences, the athlete and head coach will meet.  The athlete will not be able to compete in the next meet.
  • Following the 3rd unexcused absence, the athlete and head coach will meet to determine the consequences.  Team removal is possible following the 3rd unexcused absence.