Mingus Union swimming enjoyed a prolific state meet, setting personal records, a school record, winning a state championship and earning a coach of the year award.
The Marauder girls finished 10th with 102 points and the boys 15th with 50 points at the Division III state swimming meet at the Dady Aquatic Center at Phoenix Country Day School on Thursday and Friday.
“It was just phenomenal, just such an exciting couple of days,” Mingus head coach Gretchen Wesbrock said. “The kids, the kids just did so, so well.”
Senior Emma Warner won the Marauders’ first individual state championship in while, taking home the 100 breaststroke crown with a time of 1:08.20 in the finals, besting her prelim time of 1:08.37.
“We’ve had a state champion relay before but in my time I’ve never had a state champion in an individual race,” Wesbrock said. “So Emma Warner winning three breaststroke was pretty phenomenal.”
Seeing Warner, who has had to deal with thyroid cancer, atop the podium was extra special.
“This is the season where she hasn’t had any interruptions to her training,” Wesbrock said. “She’s been able to just focus and I’m just so happy for her. She’s going to be heading to NAU next year so she’ll be a Lumberjack and I just think she had absolutely the right attitude going into this meet, her goal was to podium this year, that’s what she set for herself to try to podium and I think she just kept herself grounded and (Thursday) in prelims she just said ‘I’m going to just have fun’ and that’s what we said, you gotta just go out and have fun, it’s your last high school moment and she did and it paid off.”
In the individual medley Warner finished fifth, with a time of 2:16.65 in the finals, after a mark of 2:18.33 on Thursday.
“In her IM she had a huge time drop (Thursday) and then another one (Friday) and that’s a big deal because she’s been chasing some times there but to have the championship in the breaststroke is pretty special,” Wesbrock said.
In the 100 breast, Warner went wire to wire, she entered the meet as the top seed and then was first after the prelims.
Wesbrock said that defending your spot like that is “very hard.”
“She and I were talking about it and she’s like ‘I almost wish I was second going in’ and I said ‘nope, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be’ and for her I think it was really important to defend a spot and that’s what she did (Friday),” Wesbrock said. “She defended her spot, so she had a phenomenal, phenomenal day.”
On the boys side senior Andrew Peterson won the consolation final for the 50 freestyle, taking ninth place overall. He also put up a time of 22.38 in the prelims, setting a new school record. Previous record holder and 2018 Mingus alumnus Gunner Tillemans was on hand to see Peterson, who swam it in 22.39 on Friday.
“Andrew Peterson set a record in the 50 freestyle, which is awesome, he beat Gunner Tilleman’s record,” Wesbrock said. “Gunner was actually here (Friday) to get to see it, which is super fun, just so many PRs.”
All five of the Marauders’ relay teams that qualified for state advanced to the second day. The other relay team was an alternate.
“So we came back (Friday) with five relays coming back, all three girls, both boys, which is to be expected,” Wesbrock said. “The girls’ relays for the medley and the freestyle they came into this meet in the seventh position and they ended fifth for both, which is awesome, so just missed the podium but still, PRs all around. We had nine individual swims that came back from (Thursday) to (Friday).”
Wesbrock also won girls Division III coach of the year.
“I wasn’t expecting that, one single bit, so I’m really thrilled,” Wesbrock said. “We’ve had a strong girls team but our boys team I feel like have just always kind of had more moments at state, so I think it’s really special to get to get to be girls coach of the year in a season where the girls really shined.”
Scottsdale Prep won the girls team title with 299 points while Scottsdale Saguaro won the boys championship with 249. The Sedona Red Rock girls were 30th and the boys sixth.
Wesbrock said the meet was an appropriate way to cap off the season.
“The whole team all around, all the kids that we brought down whether they swam (Thursday) and didn’t get a chance to swim (Friday), they just all put in their best, so great payoff for an awesome season,” Wesbrock said.