Two freshmen swimmers are on working through the summer to help create a competitive program at a school where swimming hasn’t quite taken hold.
Mansfield Timberview is looking to take its swim program to the next level, and Sophia Turco and Valeree Wright are pushing to make that happen.
The two swimmers were regional finals qualifiers and are continuing their twice-a-day workouts over the summer with the Mansfield Aquatic Club (MAC).
Traveling to about six meets during the summer to test the progress made in their workouts, the girls are focused on continuing to improve and bring more of their classmates into the program.
When I was asked what was my favorite sport, I used to say soccer, because no one would know what (competitive) swimming is.
- Timberview swimmer Sophia Turco
“We meet every other week and talk about the future and try to further the attitude about the program,” said Wright.
They both noted the smaller team size has created a tight bond for the teammates where swimmers have an open line of communication. Everyone also has an opportunity to compete with the smaller roster.
What they share starts with their pure love for swimming. Wright began swimming competitively at age 5, while Turco started at 8.
“My parents put me in a mom-and-baby swim class,” said Turco. “When I was asked what was my favorite sport, I used to say soccer, because no one would know what (competitive) swimming is.”
Turco said her favorite — and best — event is the 500m freestyle.
Wright is a 100m back, 400 free and medley relay specialist.
While they’re using the MAC team experience to focus on technique and strength, Wright also noted a more pure motive.
“I can’t picture myself doing anything other than swimming,” said the district’s Newcomer of the Year.
And, regardless of team finishes at district or greater meets, each swimmer wants to swim the best they possible can for their own self-gratification.
Turco and Wright have their immediate sights set on establishing school records. That will be just one way each swimmer can leave a legacy at Timberview before they hand off the continuation of the program’s culture to the next classes behind them.
Wright is just about .7 seconds off the school’s 100m back mark while she’s part of a group that is also very close to the 400m medley relay record at the school.
Meanwhile, Turco is set on breaking the Lady Wolves’ 500m free and 200m free records. She’s already a part of the quartet who have their names on the big board for establishing the school’s best mark in the 200m medley relay.
Working on additional strokes will also allow the sophomores-to-be additional opportunities to lead the program.
The butterfly is on the task list for Turco and Wright. The stroke with the most difficult technique is a challenge which the most competitive want to master.
The two Timberview swimmers won’t be alone at the MAC workouts, though, as the strength of swimming in the Mansfield ISD is competitive and they know swimming year-round is how to turn a passion into success.
“It makes you a better swimmer and offers additional opportunities and training that you wouldn’t get in high school,” Turco said.
But until the school year starts again in August, the early morning and late afternoon trips to the pool with continue.
And, it seems misery loves company, as both have siblings in the sport.
Turco has a younger sister about to begin her high school career, while Wright has been grabbing rides with her now-graduated brother, Andrew.