Mingus swimming ends its season with a big splash

Junior Caleb Furey, competing here in the backstroke,  finished 16th in the 100-meter breaststroke with a time of 1:04.55 during Friday’s prelims. Photo courtesy of  Vickie Tillemans/Blink Photography

Junior Caleb Furey, competing here in the backstroke, finished 16th in the 100-meter breaststroke with a time of 1:04.55 during Friday’s prelims. Photo courtesy of Vickie Tillemans/Blink Photography

Mingus Union High School swimming finished its season on Saturday. Eight swimmers qualified for the State tournament at Mesa Skyline Aquatics Center. Of the eight swimmers, it just happened to be equal as far as boys and girls. Four Marauders boys swimmers made it and so did four Mingus girls swimmers.

On the Marauders girls side, senior Leah Mount finished 20th in the 50-meter freestyle and 22nd in the 100-meter freestyle. Kimberly Rogers finished 24th in the 100-meter backstroke. The girls 200 Free Relay team finished 18th. That team featured Mount, Rogers, Emily Dorris and McKenna Langley. Their official time was 1:51.46, their fastest of the season.

The Marauders boys also were impressive at State. The boys 200 Medley Relay placed 17th. This team was made of juniors Caleb Furey, Sean Williams, Justis Byrd and freshman Gunner Tillemans. Like the girls, they also had their fastest time of the season. The official time was 1:49.67.

As expected, Williams also performed well as an individual. He took 11th place in the 50 freestyle. His time was 22.83. Williams also finished 6th in the 100 freestyle at 49.87.

Furey also swam strong. He finished 16th in the 100-meter breaststroke with a time of 1:04.55 during Friday's prelims. Byrd placed 28th in the 100 breast with a time of 1:08.35, which was his all-time best.

Tillemans had an impressive freshman season. At State, he finished 20th in the 500-meter freestyle at 5:24.32.

The boys 200 freestyle relay was made of the same four in the 200 medley. They finished 12th with a time of 1:34.54. This set a new Mingus record. The previous record was 1:34.57. That was set back in 2005.

Head coach Gretchen Wesbrock said she was very impressed with the State results and the season as a whole.

"The fact we took six swimmers in individual events, two relay teams, I think it's fantastic," Wesbrock said. "I think it was phenomenal."

This season also was Wesbrock's first as coach of the Marauders.

"I think my expectations were, I wanted to see them come together as a team," she said. "I don't think I had expectations like we're going to take this many swimmers to State. The fact we had as many as we did, with the times that made it. I think was pretty mind blowing to me. But, watching them come together as a team. There were some things I did this season, hoping that would happen and it did. These swimmers are by far some of the neatest group of athletes you'll ever meet."

She added that all four boys members of the relay teams impressed her this season.

"On the girls side, I would say Leah Mount," Wesbrock said. "McKenna Langley, Kim Rogers, she was out for the first month of our season. Emily Dorris, I had a lot of great swimmers who made a lot of improvements."

Wesbrock said she is already thinking about next year.

"Of the team we took to State, only three of them are seniors," she said. "The rest of them are all coming back. On the boys side, not one of them is graduating. It's going to be really awesome. For me as new coach, I think it took them probably a month of half to think this lady knows what's she's doing. Next year, I think it's going to be pretty incredible what we'll see from them."

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