Gila Ridge freshmen making a splash
Two swimmers are emerging as potential leaders from the Gila Ridge swim team — and they're only freshmen.
Emily Gough and Logan Osborn are the newest faces to the Hawks' swim team, but coach Heather LaVin said she knows they will have an immediate impact.
For Gough, swimming is in her blood. The child of swimmer parents, Gough said it was just a matter of time before she took up the sport, too.
“They wanted me to start swimming. I just fell in love with it.”
LaVin said that Gough moves like an expert in the water and that it's unusual to see that in a freshman swimmer.
“She's a lot like my outgoing seniors from last year that went to state,” said LaVin. “I'm still getting to know her and her abilities but from what I see, she's going to be a great asset to the team.”
Gough said she was a little uncomfortable joining the team at first but has since warmed up to being on the Hawks.
“It was scary at first. I mean it's high school and there's older, better swimmers.”
LaVin said what she has seen from Gough so far has been impressive and that she truly made herself a member of the swim team.
“She's an excellent swimmer, she's very fast. She's really focused and dedicated. She's got a lot of high goals for herself.”
Osborn began swimming with a local youth team at a young age and said it was the natural choice for him to join the swim team in high school. He said he enjoys swimming with the Hawks more than his previous team.
“This is more fun. It's a good time to get secure with everyone. It's like we're becoming a family.”
LaVin said Osborn has become a motivator for his upperclassmen teammates.
“He brings a lot of energy and excitement. What's great about Logan is that he really pushes my older boys to do their best and not be lazy.”
Osborn will be joined in the water by senior Chace Williams, who went to the state competition for the Hawks last season. Juniors Westin Lines and Joseph Salerno and senior Andrew Haynes are also returning to round out the top swimmers on the boys side, LaVin said.
“My boys team is definitely strong. I didn't hardly lose any swimmers on my boys team and so they're pretty strong this year.”
Seniors Kayla Hodgin and Heather Casares are top returners on the girls team. Gough said she is impressed with her teammates' performance and believes that the girls team will win back-to-back regional championships.
“We've have a lot of fast swimmers,” Gough said. “In our practices, we're doing really well and working really hard. So I think we're going to be awesome this year.”
LaVin said Cibola is always the Hawks' biggest competition, but she hopes her team will find success in the water.
“What I'd really like to see happen this season is for our girls to become returning regional champs. They won regionals last year and it'd be great to do it again. Our boys were runners-up last year. I have a really strong boys team and they are really excited about shooting for a regional win.”