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Sunday, April 14, 2024
HomeUncategorizedSmall Two Harbors Swim Team Makes a Big Splash

Small Two Harbors Swim Team Makes a Big Splash

You know how sometimes you can hear how enthusiastic and invested someone is about a passion they have, and you immediately find yourself engaged and extra excited to learn more? Two Harbors Swim Team Coach Heather Mayfield exudes emotion and pride in the Agates, and it was a joy to hear everything about the girls comprising this year’s team. “They make me proud every day,” she said of the tight-knit crew, and, after our discussion, it was clear to see why.

Coach Mayfield is a Two Harbors native who has been coaching the Two Harbors team, which co-ops with Silver Bay since 2010, and just recently Grand Marais swimmers. A lifelong and year-round swimmer, she was approached by the lifeguard after doing some lap swim who asked her if she had swum competitively and if she was interested in an assistant coach position.

Though she hadn’t considered coaching before, she certainly had the qualifications. “I come from a really big swimming background family,” Coach Mayfield told me. “My brothers swam. It was our life. I’m very passionate about swimming. It was my sport.”

As soon as she got into coaching, she loved it. She found that using her experience to guide young swimmers was rewarding. “I love that I gained the knowledge I did when I was younger to continue on and help the younger generation,” she said. Her daughter became one of those of the younger generation Coach Mayfield has seen thrive on the swim team. Though she hadn’t been a swimmer, and her mom didn’t push her into it, Coach Mayfield’s daughter joined the swim team in 8th grade. By the time she graduated high school she had 4 school records and then went on to swim in college.

This season’s team is small and very young. Last year, 6 seniors on the swim team graduated. There is 1 junior and 2 sophomores on the team. But they are growing. “We have a good crew coming up next year in 7th grade. I’m excited for the future of this team,” Coach Mayfield said. They are a crew of 12 up against teams with 20-30 girls. “We focus more on our individual wins and individual successes,” Coach Mayfield told me.

Due to the small size of the team, the divers (coached by Melanie Mojkowski) must compete in swimming, too. After their swim practice, which is daily Monday-Friday, they then go to diving class.

“I love watching the leadership on the team,” Coach Mayfield said, speaking to the more seasoned swimmers taking their younger teammates under their wing. “They are so close and so supportive of each other. They are awesome kids.”

A new addition to the team, Bella Imholte is “the biggest cheerleader to everybody,” ac-cording to Coach Mayfield. The sophomore also is seeded first in the 100 m backstroke, 50 m freestyle, the 100 m freestyle, and the 200 m freestyle. “She’s really driven, very athletic, and very competitive. She makes everybody strive to keep pushing.”

I was surprised to learn that Two Harbors has not had a boys swim team for many years. Coach Mayfield’s two boys would be interested in joining the swim team if the option was available. Others around the area have also expressed interest. If there is enough interest in the community, the conversation could be had if a boys swim team could be formed for the area. A co-op between the schools, like the girls swim team, may be possible in the future.

At the 2023 Hibbing Swimming & Diving Invite on Saturday, the small and mighty team took 6th out of 9 teams. According to the team’s Facebook page, Bella Imholte also broke her own backstroke school record again making it another second faster.

“It’s an honor to coach such inspiring athletes,” said Coach Mayfield at the end of our interview. “They work their tails off. They inspire me every day to be a better coach.”

Great start to the season, Agates! Best of luck in meets to come!

Feel free to contact me at sarahwritesnsj@yahoo.com  with any news we should news about!

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