After several weeks of practices including morning practices before school, the Miner Swim Team is ready for the season. Work in the weight room along with many miles in the pool, has the team looking their best.
The entire 2016 Girls team returns this year, and the addition of three freshmen to the mix makes the Miners Girls look to be one of the better teams in Division III. Raya Woods is the only Senior on the team and is swimming very well. Juniors Gianna Sweeney and Darien Apuron return after a successful 2016 season where both finished in the top 10 at the Division III State Championship Meet. Gianna finished 2nd in the Breaststroke at the Southern Arizona Regional Qualifier and followed that up with 9th place finishes at State in the 50 Freestyle and the 100 Breaststroke. Darien finished 2nd place in the 200 IM at the Southern Arizona Regional Qualifier and at State finished 9th in the 100 Butterfly and 14th in the 100 Backstroke. Between Raya, Gianna, and Darien they hold 10 out of the 11 school swimming records.
Returning Captains Raya and Darien have helped to build a very good team atmosphere where everyone thrives. While the outstanding front line will win many races, it is the depth that makes this year’s team so good. Juniors Jasmine Smith and Bonnie Bridges are very good all-around swimmers and are capable of winning races. Sophomores BaiLee Hill and Zara Allmendinger have greatly improved in the past year and are ready to shine. Freshmen Aubrey Bridges, Star Chavez, and Alyssa Riekofski provide just the right ingredients needed to fill out the team. Alyssa has shown great improvement after starting with no swimming experience. Aubrey and Star both bring several years of competitive swimming experience and look ready for a great start. Head Coach Alex Gort is confident the Girls’ Swim Team this year is best team San Manuel High School has ever put in the pool.
A majority of the 2016 Boys team graduated. While the team this year may be small it is powerful. Junior Michael Primero-Predgo brings the most experience to the team. He has competed at the State Championship meet and looks to improve on last year’s successes. Junior Daniel Garcia enters his second year of swimming and is a success story of how much improvement a swimmer can make in one year. Freshmen Jayden Smith and Evan Apuron look to make a big impact on the team. Both show tremendous potential. Jayden Smith has many years of summer league swimming and will be a big asset to the team. Evan is one of the best Age Group Swimmers (Under 14) in Arizona and looks to continue his success at the High School level.
Head Coach Alex Gort has high expectations for the team. “The team has had many great practices and is ready to get tested in competition. Several swimmers on the team have the potential to get to the State Championship Meet, to be a factor in the finals, and earn a spot on the awards podium.”
The Miners’ first meet of the season is at home on Thursday, Aug. 31, against Palo Verde at 4 p.m.