COTTONWOOD - Last year was Gretchen Wesbrock's first year at the helm for Mingus swim, and coming into her second year of coaching Mingus she said she can already sense that her kids are ready and hungry to succeed as the season approaches. Wesbrock sent a group of 12 swimmers to the state meet last here where her Men's relay team broke a 9-year-old school record, and personal records were broken all over the place by other members of the team.
Wesbrock believes that only three practices into the season, her team is already where they were a month and a half into the season last year. She said her athletes have come ready to work this season.
"Coming into this season it has been really special cause I think they are already work ethic wise and mind set wise where we were a month a half into the season last year," Wesbrock said. "I am definitely bursting to see what's going to happen with this team, because they are coming ready to work. We have a ton of freshman this year also which is fantastic, now I get a chance to really build them up which will be awesome."
With swimming, a lot of it is individual and that is something that Wesbrock wants to see this year out of her team, she said she wants to see personal best records broken, and she wants her athletes to see improvement and have their confidence grow. But she is also looking forward to her team coming together.
"I am really looking forward to them coming together as a team, because I think that's what is really special about swim, it's that even though your swimming an individual race they are competing as Mingus," Wesbrock said. "Where on a USA team you're really competing as an individual so I want them to be encouraging to one another, push one another. The fun is when you get to see those accomplishments and you're at meets and you're doing your best versus thinking were not going to be at many games and get the benefit out of doing that, I want to see PR's."
The Mingus team has plenty of returners such as seniors Sean Williams, Caleb Fury from the boys side and Emily Doris and Christine Wells from the girls side, Wesbrock believes all four of them could do something special this year. Wesbrock also mentioned the success that sophomore Gunner Tillman had last year as a freshman making it to states in the 500m swim.
"Gunner Tillman was a freshman last year that made it to states, he started the year as a sprinter before finishing as longer distance swimmer and swimming the 500m at states and setting a personal best," Wesbrock said.
Along with returners to the team, Wesbrock says that there are plenty of new freshman out for the team which can bring a lot of possibilities for the future of Mingus swim as well.
"We have a lot of news swimmers, I would like them to do their best and feel confident, and learn good stroke technique and challenge themselves to do things they didn't think they could do," Wesbrock said.
Mingus was also able to add a dive team to the swim team this year that will be headed by Volunteer Coach Kyle Latham. In the first couple practice some kids have showed interest in trying it out and Wesbrock is hoping to build something out of it.
Mingus starts their season off swimming against Verrado at home at 4 p.m. on September 3. Along with their first meet Wesbrock said the team is looking forward to other meets they will be holding this year such as the Mingus Cup that is a long standing tradition between Sedona and Mingus.
"I know the swimmers are looking forward to that one, it is a big point of pride for them." Wesbrock said.
Mingus will also be hosting a Regional championship this year with their 2nd Annual Heisey Invitational. Last year mostly all of the region was there other than Flagstaff who had committed to a different meet.
"This year they are coming, so it's going to truly be a regional championship," Wesbrock said. "It was an awesome meet last year."
The Heisey Invitational will be held on October 24 at the Cottonwood City Pool. With an exciting season ahead of them, the Mingus Marauders look to impress in the pool and off the diving board in their 2015 season.
-- Follow Greg Macafee on Twitter @greg_macafee