The Mingus Union High School swimming teams might not have taken home any medals from the state swimming meet, but at least they got a chance to compete.
That almost didn’t happen, as the team’s bus broke down on the way to the meet, which was held Friday and Saturday, Nov. 8 and 9, at the Skyline Aquatics Center in Mesa.
The team, which had left Cottonwood at 5:30 a.m. for the meet that started at 9:30 a.m., was picked up by a backup bus near Black Canyon City and delivered to the meet barely in time for the first event.
“Our boys were actually in the first heat and our girls were in the second heat,” said Marauders head swimming coach Brendon Kenney. “So we got them in and up on the blocks just in time.”
The first event of the day was the 200-yard medley relay, and neither the boys nor the girls team’s performances seemed to suffer much from their late arrival. The Marauders boys medley relay team — Caleb Furey, backstroke; Justis Byrd, breaststroke; Jared Cutshaw, butterfly and Dylan Wilber, freestyle — finished 21st with a time of 1 minute, 57.77 seconds.
Sophomore Sean Williams normally swims on the boys medley relay team but skipped it so he could swim in two individual events. Byrd took his place.
“Their time was only two seconds off their best time this year, and with [Byrd] in there that was nice to see,” Kenney said.
The girls medley relay team — of Kim Rogers, backstroke; Shannon Knowles, breaststroke; Fran Settanni, butterfly and Leah Mount, freestyle — did even better with an 18th place finish in 2:04.20.
But the star of the meet for the Marauders and the only swimmer on either its boys or girls team to make it to the second day of competition, was the sophomore Williams, whose specialty is the 50-yard freestyle.
“We’re happy that Sean made it because he was sick all week,” Kenney said. “But he was able to get to day two.”
For the full story, please see the Wednesday, Nov. 13, issue of the Cottonwood Journal Extra.