Within just four years of coaching swim, Head Coach Bruce Maher transformed a Y- team with 6 kids to a Marlington sport with roughly 35 kids going into this season.
Last year, Marlington was able to send their 1st swimmer, Baila Bugara, to state in Canton. She swam in the 500 yards and qualified for the state meet for the 200 and the 500. Another swimmer, Nichole Ellisen advanced from the regional meet to the state meet for the 100 freestyle.
Returning winners are Heather Ballard, Aubyn Boyce, Baila Bugara, Elizabeth Charlton, Luke Chunko, Mykenna Creager, Katlyn Everhart, Addy Gazacko, Claire Gerber, Colin Kunz, Reilly Lutz, Nate Procter, Megan Quinn, Mackenna Ryan, Olivia Ryan, Elizabeth Shahan, Alex Tarter, and Ashley Tarter.
While interviewing Coach Maher, Baila Bugara and Reilly Lutz for their insider perspective about swim, there was some common ground but also different thoughts.
Maher believes that swim is an individual sport. “It’s great to have numbers for motivation. When you start an event there are no time outs. There is no coaching from the sidelines. You might get a hand gesture or a sign or something like that, or you’ll hear a roar of the crowd.
Bugara been swimming for 10 years and concludes that “I think swimming is a little bit of both. It is definitely a team sport because you have to be there for your teammates when they need you and you have to do everything you can to help make your team win. But it also definitely has individual traits as well because when it comes down to it, you have to think about yourself and how you are going to do that on your own.”
On the other hand, Lutz has her own thoughts. “Definitely, a team sport because it’s hard to get yourself prepared. In swim your teammates push you to work harder; they [teammates] will be at the end of the pool just screaming and yelling for you to keep going because sometimes it can be hard to keep going.”
One of Maher’s goals is “... to get them into the position to swim at state where they are healthy and conditioned to swim the best they have ever swum in their life.”
However, Maher finds himself in a slump. “I think the major challenge for swimming is that it starts at a certain time and it ends at a certain time and Marlington High School doesn’t have its own pool so you can’t swim around the clock in your pool..”
Maher concludes that swim is a mental game with yourself. “Once you start, it’s you. It’s you, the water, and it’s the stopwatch… When you stick your head into the water...your in a world by yourself... and you’re [stuck] with your own thoughts.”
The swim season started on October 25th Their first meet will be December 6th at the Alliance YMCA.