Trojan Swimmers Set Sights on Double State Championship
By Mike Moguin
GTR Sports Writer
Each time Jenks swimmers prepare for a race, coach Diego Henao tells them, “Do not assume anything.” Trojan squads know they must adopt that mindset this year as they aim for more championships.
“We want to win,” said Henao, who enters his second season as head coach. “We want to get the titles. But we don’t assume we’re going to get it because that is like dropping our guard. We’re going for it. All the other teams are going to try to do the same thing and we train assuming they’re going to be training harder than us.”
The Trojan boys are beginning defense of their state championship while the girls strive for a title after being runner-up last season.
“They know they’re going to have a chance. The girls know they could have won,” Henao said. “At the same time, we do not assume anything. We just continue growing and proving. We don’t know what the competition is going to be like. We don’t know how much better the other teams are going to get. But the expectations are to come to practice and train hard, have fun and continue to work hard and see what it’s going to be like.
“I don’t want them to drop and assume they will win because it’s a matter of seconds we can win or lose,” Henao added. “Sometimes, it can be a 100th of a second and they know that. We as coaches constantly tell them what’s best for our team, where do we want to be next year and what kind of tradition do we want to continue or bring back. They all know that if they’re not working hard, we’re going to lose it. We’re going to lose our championship tradition of trying to win or be in the top.
The Trojans lost some good seniors from last year’s team, but have key people back, such as Morne Williams, Jazz Widney, Andrew Truong, Austin Beck, Jasmin Rau and Laney Fenton on the boys’ side. Williams and Widney won gold medals in individual events at last year’s Class 6A state meet.
Henao said that incoming freshmen are also making impressions.
“Something I noticed in a scrimmage (Oct. 22 against Booker T. Washington) was some new faces,” he said. “We have some freshmen that are stepping up and they’re eager. They’re getting used to the training. They’re getting used to the high school mode mentality and that’s going to be helping a lot, both on the boys’ side and the girls’ side.”
Jenks began the swim season hosting an All-State Preview Nov. 2 at the Jenks Aquatic Center.
A road meet at Edmond followed three days later. Then there is a home meet on Nov. 19, with Broken Arrow and Stillwater coming to town.
“I’d like to invite the community to come watch some swimming and learn more about it,” Henao said. “We have an awesome facility and they should all be a part of it and cheer for our team.”
Admission to the home meets is $5.