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Swimming Steps Up to the Blocks

Posted 03/18/2008 by Michael Mankoff

Boys Swimming and Diving makes a splash.

By Michael Mankoff

1anormal_marc.jpgThis year the Thomas Jefferson swimming and diving team has a lot of new, young talent as the Spartans embark on a new and exciting season.
     On Monday, March 17th, the team had their first home meet against Arvada West, taking on current Wildcat head coach, and former TJ swimming Coach Jeff Cook. The reunion was a great first meet for TJ, as they came out with an exciting one point victory by the score of 92-91.  The meet was was full of highlights, and the biggest event was the 400 freestyle relay, where the team of four boys qualified for state.  With only one qualifier last season, and already four in their second meet of the year, the team is very excited for what lies ahead.
     Whether the swimming team is on the road or in the comforting waters of the TJ pool, senior swimmer Marc Houghton will be giving his all to prove he is among the elite in the state. “I’ve been swimming year round to prepare for this season, and as a result, my times have been better than ever before,” said Houghton, who finished 4th in the state in the 200 meter freestyle as a Junior. Now with two of the opponents that finished ahead of him graduated, Houghton will strive to gain supremacy in the event this season.
     The team’s first meet of the year was this past weekend at the Patriot Invitational at the University of Denver.  "The boys were awesome at the invite," noted Head Coach Cindy Allen, "They did everything I asked of them, and it should set the tone for the rest of our season."
     However, the team looks to be very strong as well with some young talent that will be called on to step up big. Daniel Smith, a sophomore distance swimmer, will also be pivotal this season in the Spartans’ success. Along with Houghton and Smith will be a talented group of young swimmers that should be able to qualify at least two relay teams to state, according to Houghton. With the 400 team already qualified, the 200 freestyle relay only needs to shave off a few seconds to make the cut as well. It is apparent that TJ swimming and diving team is capable of capturing a city title this year as well. “ With a lot of new guys on the team, we have just as good chance as any to win, it just depends on the younger guys stepping up,” commented Houghton.
     Allen agrees, and with a good freshmen class this year, Houghton will be looked to as a leader and role model. “Marc has unmatched work ethic and I think the younger kids really admire his athletic ability,” observed Allen.
     The other part of the meets is the diving portion, and this year the diving team will be as good as ever before. With senior Joe Langlee and Mason Swhedin returning to the squad of divers, they will be a force to be reckoned with.  Assistant swimming and head diving coach Aimee Witulski has much bolder statements for the team. “We will be the best team in the DPS,” Witulski declared with confidence.
    This confidence coupled with the team’s talent will create much energy and pizzazz for the Spartans swimming and diving team this year. Look for great accomplishments from this group of young men all throughout the spring season.