JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER
MARBLE FALLS — When Faith Academy of Marble Falls athletics director Randy Denton had the chance to hire Krystal Lunsford as the swim coach, he didn’t hesitate.
In fact, he believes Lunsford is exactly what the team needs to return to the glory it experienced a decade ago when the Flames routinely advanced to the state meet of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools. Faith’s swim program had a coach many years ago when it first got started, but it hasn’t had one for almost 10 years.
During those in-between years, swimmers competed under the Faith banner, but the parents assumed responsibility for their training, transportation and associated costs.
The hiring of Lunsford marks a new chapter in the Faith swim program.
Lunsford spent last summer as the head swim coach for the YMCA of the Highland Lakes at Galloway-Hammond in Burnet where she guided the Burnet Water Dawgs, the Marble Falls Tsunami and Tex’s Waves, an advanced swimming team. The Tex’s Waves are named after Julian “Tex” Robertson, the founder of Camp Longhorn and major supporter of swimming.
“I experienced a lot of growth for me there,” she said about her experience at the YMCA. “At Faith, I can see a program I can build and grow.”
One of the most valuable parts of coaching at the YMCA for Lunsford was getting the experience in learning how to lead a program, which was the main reason Denton asked her to join Faith.
In addition, she also founded a club swim team called The Current that is based at the Marble Falls Athletic Club. Many of the swimmers live in the Marble Falls-Horseshoe Bay area.
The Flames have five swimmers representing the academy: Ashlyn Wilson, Abby Jordan, Deanna Crawford, Paige Wukasch, and Averi Wukasch.
Wilson has previously swam for Lunsford.
Already the athletes are seeing drops in their times which shows Lunsford’s teachings are having an impact.
Crawford, who has swam with Tex’s Waves, has shaved off three seconds from her 100-meter breaststroke. Crawford, Wilson and both Wukaschs experienced success in the medley relay during a Dec. 9 meet.
“I’m super proud of these girls for their hard work and performance with only one month of practice going into this meet,” Lunsford said.
The newcomer is Jordan, but Lunsford said she is already swimming at a high level.
“She’s a brand new powerhouse,” the coach said. “You can tell she’s giving it her all, especially if she continues to work. She’ll excel, she’ll continue to get better and faster than the rest because of how hard she works.”
The next meet is Jan. 7 at the Roy and Jean Potts Belton Swim Center, 600 Lake Road in Belton. The regional meet is Jan. 25 in San Antonio.