JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER
MARBLE FALLS — The midway point for the Marble Falls Tsunami and Burnet Water Dawgs allowed coach Katrina VanBenthuysen to reflect on the 2015 season.
The two teams have competed in three meets already with the next one hosted by the Lago Vista team at 8 a.m. July 11 at the city of Lago Vista Swimming Pool, 8012 Bar K Ranch Road. In all, 83 swimmers will compete with a total of 183 entries.
“That’s an important meet for us,” VanBenthuysen said. “It’s the meet before the regional meet. It gives kids times, where they stand for regionals so they can focus on times for regionals. It’s a warmup for kids to be really confident in events.”
Both teams will attend a regional meet of the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation on July 18 at the Landa Park Aquatic Complex, 350 Aquatic Circle in New Braunfels. VanBenthuysen said the Tsunami are taking 25 swimmers to the meet.
Of the 40 Tsunami swimmers, 20 of them are in the 8- to 10-year-old division. VanBenthuysen said having that many youngsters in that age group is great because at age 11, the distances increase.
“It’s important they get started when they’re younger,” she said. “So when they jump up to that next age group, they’re ready.”
The Water Dawgs have 30 members. As the season has progressed, coaches are seeing times drop, VanBenthuysen said.
She believes the reason for the number of swimmers is because coaches made phone calls and reached out to those who hadn’t signed up before that communication occurred. It also helps that staff members at the YMCA of the Highland Lakes at Galloway-Hammond work with the swimmers, she said.
“Consistency with the coaches and getting the word out,” she said. “Everybody wants to see kids improve and get ribbons.”
The coach judges success by her swimmers’ efforts in trying their best.
“I want to see them listening and make an effort,” she said. “I want the strokes to get better.”
And if the athletes are doing that, then they can be happy and have fun, she added.
VanBenthuysen said swimmers can still sign up to compete until Aug. 20. The ages are 8 to 18.
“We’ve really just grown as the summer has continued,” she said. “We’re still taking registration. We’re happy to take them.”
Go to www.ymcagwc.org/burnet for more information.