MARYSVILLE — The pool at Marysville-Pilchuck is packed with swimmers and divers from both Marysville Getchell and M-P for start-of-the-season training, and the athletes are looking to bring a new level of skill to the program.
In a team meeting, head coach Jaci Legore Hodgins brought up the phrase “championship mindset.”
“That’s one of my favorite things,” she said. “To us as coaches, it just completely covers what you want your athletes to get because it’s the big picture. It’s not about winning, it’s about how you handle yourself and how to be a champion.”
The Chargers have 13 swimmers and divers on the roster this year, while the Tomahawks have 18.
“It’s a small team. We usually average 33, so we are just a bit short,” said Legore Hodgins. “We’d love to have 20 from each school and it’s been challenging to get that number. The Mighty Marlins is a great developmental program we have here, but they see a lot of kids from Lake Stevens or Arlington, so growing swimmers in Marysville can be difficult.”
Despite having fewer athletes, M-P and MG boast a skilled group with a strong work ethic and team mindset.
“This is a really fun group,” said Legore Hodgins. “They are strong, competent, creative — it’s a great group. We have a group of newbies that are so new, and Coach Christy Taylor is spending a great amount of time working with them and growing their skill. I’ve got a group of veterans led by state competitors — M-P senior Rachel Hartmeyer and MG senior Courtney Moss. Melanie Coleman, another senior from M-P, is returning as well, along with Madison Rossnagle and Rebekah Pusateri, both M-P sophomores.”
Diving is set to be a strong team for the Chargers and Tommies this year.
“Coach Caldwell is our shining star, our secret weapon,” said Legore Hodgins, of diving coach Dick Caldwell. “We have seven divers this year, so we are deep. MG is going to be something this year. In addition to Courtney, we have a junior named Brooke Wherley at MG who has been practicing diving in Federal Way all summer. Sophomore Alex Pimentel is a former gymnast who is showing a lot of promise.”
Legore Hodgins had accolades for M-P freshman Abby Magee as well.
“She is the real deal,” she said. “She has been training here with the Marlins for years, and now she is ready to take it to the high school level. She has a great work ethic.”
The Tomahawks and Chargers will host the North Division Jamboree on Thursday, Sept. 12, at 3 p.m.