Sat, Dec. 07

Marauders swimmers make big splash
Mingus hopes to go far as season progresses

Gretchen Wesbrock

Gretchen Wesbrock

Most sports are either team or individual. But, swimming is somewhere in between. The Mingus Union High School Marauders have been doing well in both so far.

On Thursday, Mingus boys and girls swim teams had a meet at home. The Marauders went against Flagstaff High School, Sedona-Red Rock High School and Fredonia High School. The Mingus boys finished second with a score of 97, only falling short to Sedona by five. The Marauders girls scored 92, which was second to Flagstaff's 121.

Head coach Gretchen Wesbrock said the team met her expectations.

"We faced Flagstaff once already this season," Wesbrock said. "So, we had a pretty good indication."

She added the Sedona team had a lot more experience than the Marauders. Sedona had 20 seniors swimming, while Mingus had four.

"We have a young team and a small team," Wesbrock said.

She mentioned that boys swimmer junior Justis Byrd had a personal best in the 100-meter breaststroke. She added that juniors Sean Williams and Caleb Furey, two of the top Marauders swimmers again performed impressively. Wesbrock said on the girls side senior Leah Mount swam well.

After a quick turnaround, on Saturday, the Marauders competed in the 26th Annual Brophy Xavier Invitational at Brophy College Preparatory High School in Phoenix. This meet was very important, as times in the events will mean a lot to determine who goes to State in which event.

Wesbrock said many of the Mingus boys recorded personal bests in different events. Furey, Byrd, Williams and freshman Gunner Tilllemans swam 1:51.88 in the 200 Medley Relay. That time is a Division II consideration for State. The automatic qualifying time is 1:48.47.

Byrd, one of the members in the relay, said he thought he did well in the meet on Thursday.

"I did pretty good," he said. "I got a personal best and I improved by two and a half seconds or so."

Byrd added he thought he could have had a little faster speed.

"I think I could have been faster off the turns," he said. "But, mostly I was happy."

Going into Saturday, Byrd said he knew what he needed to do.

"Just need to get some rest and push myself as hard as I can," he said.

On Saturday, Tillemans swam a personal best of 2:01.51 in the 200 Freestyle. He also recorded a personal best 24.62 in the 50 Freestyle. Tillemans has been very impressive. Especially when considering this is his first experience in high school swimming.

Tillemans said the older boys swimmers have helped him along.

"I've had some people to look up to," he said. "Sean (Williams) and Caleb (Furey), so I see them as role models.

In a coincidence, Tillemans said on Thursday he wanted to improve in the 50 and 200 Freestyle. The two events he recorded personal bests in on Saturday.

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