Aaron Burrows / August 12, 2014
July 26, 2014. The weather was perfect, the view of the Bay was gorgeous and the Menlo Mavericks coaching staff had arrived at the College of San Mateo ready to prepare for the day.
The West Bay Swimming League (WBSL) Championships were going to begin in a little less than 2 hours and the coaches were already discussing swimmers that were not able to join the team that day due to illness or other family obligations. All they could do at that point is hope for the best and motivate those that were able to attend to do their best and fight tooth and nail to get personal bests at the meet. As coaches, their focus was not the place of each swimmer in their events, but the idea that each swimmer go out and achieve their best time while swimming their absolute best.
The meet started very well, with Menlo Mavericks swimmers swimming in close to every heat of each event and the results board showed each Mavericks swimmer dropping time like it was too hot to handle… and that they were. Anywhere from .01 seconds to up to 10 seconds were being shaved off of swimmers previous best times. The swimmers were swimming out of their minds!
Halfway through the swim meet the scores were announced and Menlo was in 4th place, only 20 points behind 3rd and 7 points ahead of 5th.
In previous years, going all the way back to the start of this team in 1996, the Menlo Mavericks had come in 6th, occasionally 5th. In 2011, when I was brought in to take the reins, I had heard this and immediately stated “We will not see 6th as long as I am here”. In 2012, Menlo Mavericks placed 5th, a goal they had not achieved in the previous 4 years. At the end of the season, I sat down with the coaching team and stated, “Next year, the team will see 4th place”. Sure enough, Menlo Mavericks achieved a 4th place finish in 2013 in the WBSL!
In the early coaches meetings of the 2014 season, we sat down and came up with avenues to help make Menlo Mavericks a better program, a better team, a family of swimmers and parents. Swimmers that will stick together and achieve no matter what. In the summer of 2014, we were thrilled to see Menlo Mavericks reach 3rd place in the WBSL summer league. An achievement many thought would be out of the reach of Menlo Mavericks.
The will and drive of each and every swimmer is what brought us the 3rd place finish at champs! The coaching staff stepped up and brought top quality coaching to the team to help each swimmer be better in and out of the water.
Congratulations Menlo Mavericks on your 3rd place finish at WBSL Championships and good luck to you in the 2014/2015 USA swim season!