JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
MARBLE FALLS — The fifth year of the Marble Falls Tsunami swim team is highlighted by the largest number of swimmers in the history of the program.
Head coach Martha Montoya’s team has ballooned to 56 swimmers. When it started, it drew about 20.
“I think word is getting out,” she said.
Assistant coach Tyler Gary agreed.
“As the summer’s gone along, a ton of kids have come,” he said. “It’s really awesome to see all these people from around Marble Falls and Burnet swim with us.”
The team has swimmers starting in elementary school all the way to high school and works out 9-11 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. Montoya spends the first part of each practice with the younger swimmers. After they’re dismissed, she turns her attention to the older swimmers.
Montoya said she likes having swimmers of different skill levels on the team.
“They teach each other, they learn from each other,” she said. “It pushes them.”
But while Montoya works with the younger students, her son and volunteer coach, Josh Montoya, and Gary help the older swimmers with technique.
Josh Montoya has been with the team since it started, while Gary began as a swimmer four years ago. He has been an assistant coach the past three years.
Both still compete and are members of the Texas Longhorns Aquatics, a club team based out of Burnet.
Before Gary could be the assistant coach, he had to be a certified lifeguard.
“You always want to get better at what you do, so that’s why I like to practice,” Gary said. “I can learn more, and I can get faster. But I also like coaching, because the people who aren’t as skilled as me, I can work with them to help them improve. It’s the best feeling in the world to know that you helped them improve their swimming.”
firstname.lastname@example.org[box]TSUNAMI SWIM MEETS
• Lago Vista — 8 a.m.-noon June 22 at the Lago Vista City Pool, Bar K Ranch Road
• Marble Falls — 8 a.m.-noon July 6 at the city pool, 305 Buena Vista
• Regionals — 8 a.m.-3 p.m. July 13 in New Braunfels
• Texas Amateur Athletic Federation state meet — July 25-28, TBA[/box]