Wed, Oct. 16

Several Marauder swimmers hoping for big things at State

McKenna Langley is a part of the girls 200 Medley Relay and the 200 girls Free Relay. VVN/Vyto Starinskas

McKenna Langley is a part of the girls 200 Medley Relay and the 200 girls Free Relay. VVN/Vyto Starinskas

Mingus Union High School Swimming ended its regular season on Friday and Saturday. The meet was the San Tan Valley Invitational at Hamilton High School (Chandler). Next, a total of four Marauders boys swimmers and four girls swimmers will compete at the State meet at Skyline Aquatic in Mesa on Friday and Saturday. Prelims will be Friday and finals on Saturday.

As far as events go, the boys 200 Medley Relay qualified for State. Finishing 23rd, the top 24 make it. This relay team consists of juniors Caleb Furey, Justis Byrd, Sean Williams and freshman Gunner Tillemans. The Mingus girls 200 Medley Relay also made State, as an alternate. This team is made of Kimberly Rogers, Leah Mount, McKenna Langley and Emily Dorris. The Marauders boys 200 Free Relay also made it. The team is the four same who made the 200 Medley Relay, that team finished 23rd. The Mingus girls 200 free relay also made it finishing 22nd.

The Marauders also have some individual going to State as well. One girl swimmer who made it is Mount. She made it the 200 IM, 100 Breast, 50 Free, 100 Free. But, swimmers are only allowed to compete in two events at State. So, Mount will be in the 50 Free and 100 Free. The other girl individual State swimmer will be Rogers. She made it the 100 back.

As far as the boys, Furey made it in the 50 Free and 100 Breast. Byrd also made in the 100 Breast. For the third straight season, Williams made it to State. He will be in 100 Free and 50. He finished eighth in the 50 Free and sixth in the 100 Free. Tillemans also qualified as a freshman. He will be competing in the 500 Free.

"With eight swimmers competing with a team that really had about 23, 24 swimmers, I think it's pretty phenomenal," head coach Gretchen Wesbrock said. "It was a quicker year. For instance, Rogers made State last year. Her time that made State last year, wouldn't have made it this season. The kids across the State are quick in our division this year. I think it' a tremendous accomplishment. I think it speaks really highly of how much work this kids put into the pool."

A few swimmers were close to getting consideration times, but just fell short.

"Every swimmer on the team finished higher than when they started," she said.

Williams is hoping for big things at State, both in the relay and his individual events.

"I'm pretty happy with the results," he said. "I think we just need to focus in practice and I think we'll all swim great."

He added his relay team should be ready to go.

"I think we'll all be focused and we're going to do good," he said.

Since this is his third year in State, Williams said he knows the feeling Tillemans will have for his first State competition.

"He has to push it and he has to know when to turn it on and when to be strong," Williams said. "He has to finish hard and every race and I'll be telling him that.

Because she is a senior, this will be the last State tournament for Mount. Mount said her choice of events was a simple.

"I choose to swim the 50 Free and the 100 Free because, I'm ranked higher in those," she said.

Mount agreed with Williams that the Marauders keep to focus.

"I think if we stay focused on our goals and where we want to be, it will be great," Mount said.

She added she will miss her time as a Mingus swimmer.

"It's definitely bittersweet," Mount said. "I think I'm ending on a good note and I'm happy to be a part of this team for four years."

Wesbrock said she would like to give a special thanks to several volunteer coaches this season. They are, John Wesbrock, volunteer assistant coach. Volunteer Stroke Technical coach Dick Moody and volunteer team manager JR Pooler.

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