As the schools of the Mansfield ISD gear up for swimming and diving season, expectations are high due in large part to the accomplishments of last season.
First-year coach Nick Johnson said that the Legacy swim team is looking good he is confident his team will be competitive.
“We’re excited to get our season started with our first dual meet against Keller on Tuesday,” Johnson said last weekend. “Legacy returns a strong junior class led by Olympic trials qualifier Haley Yelle and state qualifier Sam Sok. The team will look to the experience of seniors Hannah Pikey and Nick Tullbane to help navigate the season.”
Johnson said his teams do have a couple of objectives as well.
“Both teams have high expectations for the season,” Johnson said. “The girls team goal is to build off of their third-place finish at regionals last year, while the boys team plans to defend their first-place regional finish.”
Over at Lake Ridge, coach Blake Kahla said that things are shaping up well for his team also and said there is a lot of confidence heading into the season.
“Things are going very well,” Kahla said. “We had our first dual meet of the season against Aledo. Most of the boys and girls beat Aledo. All swimmers that are returning had better times than they did at this point last year, so that’s a positive. All the new swimmers looked good and we had very few disqualifications. It looks like we’re coming along very good.”
Kahla’s stronger returners include Kylie Sheppard in the 200 and 500 free, Rhiannan Boseman in the 50 and 100 freestyle relay on the girls side, and James Leibham in the 500 free and Jeffery Gordon in the 100 fly on the boys side.
“On the girls side, we want to have three relays return to state again,” Kahla said. “We have four of the girls that are returning to the state meet. The boys team also has the goal of getting one or two qualified for the state this year, and both teams all have the goals of improving this year.”
For Mansfield High School, coach Matt Bold said that he is feeling good about where his team is heading and expects a couple of athletes to have good seasons.
“We have Mike Thibert, a returning state champion in the 100 freestyle,” Bold said. “He is a senior this year. For the girls side, we had two girls make it to state last year. Lauren Thompson made it to state in the 100 breaststroke and the 200 IM. Sara McClendon made it to state in the 500 freestyle. I also have a returning diver in Nick Miller, who made it to state and finished sixth. All of them are returning for us this year and should lead the way.”
Bold said the expectations are pretty specific for his team.
“We would like to repeat as district champs, and finish in the top three at region this year,” Bold said. “We would also like to qualify at least one boys relay and one girls relay and at least six individual qualifiers to the state meet this year.”
Coaches at Timberview and Summit could not be reached for comment.