WICHITA, Kan.—For the Trinity Academy Knights swim team, leadership has been a big part of this year.
Senior Ben Johnson knows what it takes to be a leader.
Coach Bruce Van Bebber thinks the three seniors on the squad have stepped up this year.
“[I’m] very pleased with Ben, Jon Vigilius and Cody Buettgenbach,” said Van Bebber. “[I] really couldn’t have asked for better mentors. They’re always looking after the other guys. [They] make sure they have rides to school on early Friday practices and little things like that.”
The team appears to have greatly improved from last year.
“In our first meet we had kids drop 15 seconds from last year. We’re older, stronger, faster,” said Johnson.
“I have high hopes for the team this year,” said Buettgenbach. “There’s a lot of improvement from last year.”
When it comes to state competition, Van Bebber thinks the team has a good shot.
“I think we have a really good opportunity to get to swim at state in our relays. Two people have already qualified for state,” said Van Bebber. “Ben Johnson won the 100 back and his time was faster than last year then at the state meet. (Sophomore) Alex King has already qualified in the 500 Freestyle and also in the 200 Freestyle. There was actually kind of a surprising swim by freshman David Vigilius had a really good relay split.”
The team thinks Van Bebber is the man for the job.
“He’s an awesome coach,” said Buettgenbach. “He’s been coaching over 12 years. He knows how to push us and knows what we can and can’t do.
“He works us really hard and desires excellence, but it makes us really good swimmers,” said Johnson. “Swimming has taught me determination. Swimming is very difficult and we get very little rest at practice. Swimmers have to push themselves through a lot of exhaustion. So he’s taught me to get stuff done no matter what.”