|Photo by David Stone
The Olympics have created a new hero, Michael Phelps, to boost the interest and excitement in swimming competitively around the world.
Corona del Sol athletes seem to be following this fascination by going out for the swim team in near record numbers this season.
New CdS head coach Caleb Guest is trying to capitalize on this enthusiasm, at least partly in an attempt to replace the void left when Adam Small graduated in May and moved into a bigger pond at the University of Arizona.
After two weeks of practice, Guest says he’s has found out a few things out about his team.
“I have discovered that we have an exceptionally big team this year with lots of promise. The number of new swimmers is outstanding, but they will require some extra work to develop good stroke technique and fundamentals to be competitive.”
Guest, who graduated in 2006 with a BS in kinesiology from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, was an assistant with the team last season.
Although he swam mainly the 100 free and 200 IM in high school, he turned to the triathlon in college.
After a couple of years, he was able to transition from sprinting into the longer distance required in the open water races of the triathlon.
Guest knows quite a few of the swimmers from last year, so he’s counting on several of them to provide leadership and stability for the rest of this large team.
“I will mostly be relying on captains Daniel Rasmussen and Chelsea Martin, but all the seniors will be held accountable for setting a good example for the swim team,” said Guest. Senior Max Hacker is the captain of the CdS Dive team.
“Returning swimmers Danielle Palbykin, Katie Chen, Elizabeth Lee, Rachel Dahl and Ashlee Coffman should also help the team be competitive in the Central Region,” Guest said. “As usual, perpetual favorites Brophy and Xavier will be the teams to beat in the state once again this year.”
Guest is also counting on swimmers Gavin Haws, Matt Hayhurst, Ryan Kiefer, Simona Kovatcheva, Alex Lampis-Slaughter, Preston Long, Clay Meschke, Anna Salibi, Caroline Tate, John Travis, Jade Winters and Janelle Sweeny to swim strong for Corona.
Rounding out the team are Sarah Abgral, Kailie Arb, Emily Baker-Slama, Ryan Blom, Yvette Bosseneck, Brooke Campbell, Sarah Dinelle, Taylor Doren, David Dyster, Frank Fan, Amy Foster, Ben Hauber, Michael Howard, Charlie Haude, Caroline Kennedy, Dena Khani, Clayton Kramer, Stephen Kuluris, Scott Kyayle, Emily Lewandowski, Amanda Litzinger, Bryan Liu, Erin Maloney, Ben Miller, Conner Rawls, Gabrielle Sparks, Ryan Telep, Tyan Thibault, Austin Thibault, Taylor Thorn, Julie Vanderberg, Kelsey Wattel, Amanda Watts, Heidi Liou and Megan Mayall.
“One of the reasons our team has so many athletes, currently 55, is because there are no tryouts for the swim team,” said Guest. “We accept anyone who has a passion for hard work and competition.”
The Aztecs will have their first chance to show off their hard work by competing Sept. 3 against Gilbert at CdS’s home site, the West Chandler Aquatic Center, 250 S. Kyrene Road, Chandler. The team will then compete at Xavier and Brophy Sept. 10. All meets are scheduled to start at 4 p.m. unless listed differently on the Corona Athletic website at http://www.aztecathletics.com.
Corona’s swim and dive team is also slated to attend at least two invitationals. The first is the Wolves Classic on Sept.13 at the Chandler High School Aquatics Center, the next the Brophy Swim and Dive Invitational Sept. 27.