Even though she’s moved on to Olympic fame, Dana Vollmer has helped the Granbury SEALS be one of the strongest swim programs around.
That’s the way SEALS coach Janet Steenberge sees it as she prepares to take a club-record 58 swimmers to the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation Games of Texas in Corpus Christi this weekend.
“I think the swimmers have latched on to her success,” said Steenberge. “After she won a gold medal in 2004 we had a spike, and in 2012 kids who didn’t know her before got interested.”
Only 16 at the time, Vollmer was part of a gold medal-winning 800-meter freestyle relay in the Athens Olympics. Not long after, the SEALS began sending their biggest numbers ever to state.
Last summer Vollmer won three gold medals and set a world of 55.98 in the 100-meter butterfly in London. That was followed by this summer’s record performance by the SEALS at regionals (64 posted top-five finishes).
As is standard every year, some who qualified for state will not make the trip to Corpus because of prior commitments, etc.
However, this year more than ever are going, and Steenberge said they are ready for their best performance yet.
“The kids seem so focused,” she said. “They really want to end the summer strong.”
The SEALS will have 18 relays competing at state. Points in those events are doubled, a large reason they had their highest team finish ever, second to Trophy Club, at the recent TAAF Region IV Meet.
“It always pays off big if you can put together strong relays,” said Steenberge.
The 58 swimmers at Corpus will bring to 328 swimmers the amount to compete at state since 2007. The previous record was 48 in 2007.
“Wow, this is just fantastic,” said Steenberge. “Really fantastic.
“It’s been a fun summer, and we’re taking a very strong group of swimmers to state.”
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