Richard Campanaro has plans to take the Euless Trinity swim team to places it has never been before.
As part of that plan, the Trojans and Lady Trojans competed in their first travel meet in over 10 years recently.
“The team performed incredibly,” said Campanaro, who is in his first season as head coach.
“The kids raised over $8,000 this season and earned themselves a trip to the 2017 Lubbock Invitational, a meet I once set my personal record in the 100-meter breaststroke at back in 1999 (1:04).”
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Several members of the Trinity team also had personal bests in the meet this year. Senior Riley Buhrow set a lifetime personal record in the 50 freestyle, clocking 22.90 seconds.
Kenzie Crews, the senior girls captain, set a lifetime personal record in the 100 free of 59.05. She did so in a swim-off at the end of the meet.
“Our team travel meet to Lubbock was an amazing experience. Getting to make memories and bond with the team is something I will never forget,” Crews said. “I finally broke a minute on my hundred freestyle. That was an awesome moment, but the thing I will cherish even more than my time is the support I had from my team after I set a new personal best. The whole team ran up to me behind the blocks and gave me a huge group hug.
“So here I was, panting and tired from one of the most challenging races I have ever swam and I was surrounded by 25 of the most amazing people ever. That support shows that our team is one of a kind and that we really are a family.
“That’s what this trip was about. It wasn’t about times or placements, it was about coming together as a team and supporting one another.”
Campanaro said it was exciting to watch Crews reach her goal. In fact, he said all but three swimmers who attended set personal records.
“The travel meet was something that had been tossed around in theory for years, but actually planning and executing the hard work and seeing the trip come to fruition was very satisfying,” senior boys captain Riley Buhrow said. “And it was everything that us seniors could have hoped for in our last year.”
The money was raised largely by a “lapathon” the team held, Campanaro said. Swimmers secured sponsors who donated money for each lap a swimmer completed up to 200 laps.
“The team trip we took to Lubbock was an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything. I’ve bonded with my teammates in these past few days more than I have in the last two years,” said senior Reggy Berger. “If I had any regrets in my swim career, it’s that we hadn’t done these trips every year.”
Campanaro said overnight trips are one of the best team-building activities.
“The kids are stuck together for 48 hours and learn a lot about each other and the team as a unit,” he said. “It was also our final chance to make adjustments before district. It was our first meet competing against Southlake Carroll (a district foe) as well, and the meet overall was very fast. Fast meets always bring out the best in swimmers. They truly rose to the occasion.”
Prior to the district meet last Friday at the Carroll Aquatics Center in Southlake, the Trinity swimmers received an extra bit of inspiration. Former Trojan swimmer Anthony Tommasi, who still holds the school records in the 50 (20.67) and 100 free (45.0), was scheduled to fly in from California to speak to the athletes.
Tommasi is also the founder of ViewTry, an online company that allows visitors to virtually try on eyeglasses and sunglasses before buying.
Tommasi, a 1994 Trinity graduate, is a two-time survivor of a malignant brain tumor with surgeries in 2004 and 2012. His wife is also a cancer survivor, Campanaro said.
Tommasi advanced to state as a Trojans swimmer. He captured a bronze medal in the 50 free and placed fourth in the 100 free.