Tomahawk swim starts season ambitious

MARYSVILLE — As practice draws to a close, the Tomahawk boys swim team lines up behind the starting blocks on lanes five and six.

Two by two, the guys face off swimming different strokes as coach Scott Knowles watches from 25 yards away — the other end of the pool — with two stopwatches in hand.

The exercise is about building speed in the sprint events, particularly the 50 freestyle, and what’s remarkable about the way the boys swim is that many of them can swim the length of the pool and part of the way back without coming up for air.

“It’s just to develop some toughness,” Knowles said of the exercise. “Hopefully we’ll have some guys do the 50 with no breath or one on their way back.”

With six swimmers back from last year’s state meet — most of them with experience in multiple events — the Tomahawks have ambitious goals for their season. Though the boys are without state diver Taylor Gibson and speedy swimmer Aaron Goff, both lost to graduation, they return at least one swimmer from last year’s freshman, sophomore and junior classes.

The team returns seniors Gabe Lopez and Trevor LeValley, both of whom swam the maximum four events at state last year. Both combined on the 200 medley relay that placed sixth in finals and the 400 freestyle relay that placed 10th. LeValley also swam to third-place finishes in the 200 individual medley and 500 freestyle. Lopez swam the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke, making finals in the freestyle event, placing 15th overall.

Junior Oliver Durand and sophomore Spencer Girard also swam an individual event and relay event at last year’s state contest and come back ready for more.

Along with state relay swimmers Brandon Caldwell and Brody Coleman, seeking individual berths this year, the team plans to build on last year’s success.

“It’s a long way off, but what we’d like to do is win league, go undefeated and place fourth at state,” Knowles said.

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