SOUTHLAKE – The Coppell swim team traveled to the Carroll ISD Natatorium to compete at the Dragon Hunt Invitational on Saturday, one of the team’s major preseason competitions.
The meet featured teams from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, such as James Madison, Mansfield, Frisco Wakeland and one of Coppell’s biggest rivals: Southlake Carroll.
Though Coppell had a shaky start but witnessed many top three finishes, along with the breaking of many personal records.
“In the beginning, it was rough,” Coppell coach Marieke Mastebroek said. “The first couple of events, I wasn’t so sure. But then all of a sudden, it picked up and it was one best time after another. And not by just a couple tenths [of a second], but by whole seconds. It got exciting really quick.”
Coppell competed with 48 swimmers from its Varsity A, Varsity B, and JV teams, and almost half of them climbed out of the pool with new personal records.
The Dragon Hunt Invitational had its swimming events, such as the boys 100-yard breaststroke, be divided into three to 10 heats depending on the number of competitors. But unlike traditional high school meets, it did not final heats of the winners from the initial heats. Ultimately, outcomes of each individual heat contributed to teams’ scores.
There were many first place finishes for Coppell throughout the meet. The team’s underclassmen performed quite well, bagging several first place finishes and many top three finishes as they performed against swimmers two to three years older than them.
This season has seen a large amount of talented underclassmen fill up the Varsity A and Varsity B rosters. Being the first major invitational meet this season, the Coppell swim team had the valuable opportunity for its young team to gain more experience.
“Our team is pretty good this year,” Coppell senior captain Ben Borchgardt said. “We have quite a few [young] swimmers that look like they are going to be really good in the coming years. We’ve already had a strong sophomore class, but this year there’s also been a lot of freshmen that came in this year and have been performing well.”
The team only saw five seniors graduate last season, while having a large class of incoming freshmen and sophomores. Now, just a month into its preseason, the Varsity B team is populated by mostly underclassmen while the Varsity A team already holds six underclassmen.
“The underclassmen have been performing great,” Mastebroek said. “[They are] some of my best new group of swimmers I have ever had. They are doing great- they’re excited, they’re working hard and they’re pushing each other. They have even started to push the [Varsity] A team.”
Coppell’s next meet is the Halloween Invitational on Oct. 26 at 10 a.m. at the Denton Natatorium.
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