Tougher Division a Challenge for Gators

A Gator swims the 25-yard freestyle in the first home meet of the season, Monday, against Cool Dell. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Outnumbered team loses first two dual meets

By Steve Bowman
Editor, The Brentwood Spirit

For the Brentwood Gators swim team, the summer season has been a bit humbling so far. They’ve been outscored significantly in their first two meets, losing by almost 100 points at Lake Chesterfield on June 9 and by about 200 points to Cool Dell on June 16.

This is new territory for a team that has won its division in the Gateway Swimming and Diving League for the past three years. But it’s that success, and growth in team size, that caused Gateway to move the Gators into a conference with bigger, better teams. Brentwood has 170 swimmers, which is 30 more than last season. And yet they’ve been outnumbered by 30 to 40 swimmers against both Lake Chesterfield and Cool Dell, said head coach Sean Dooley.

Of course, Dooley said before the season started that he doesn’t care what the final score is. He just wants his kids to learn how to swim properly and to have fun.

“I tell the kids that there will always be someone out there who can beat you,” he said. “But if you do your best you can hold your head high. Do your best, improve on your times, swim well and just bring it.”

Asked if any of his swimmers have had standout performances, Dooley replied, “So far I haven’t really seen any. We had a lot of standouts last year who are now learning just how tough the competition can be.”

Gators head coach Sean Dooley advises a few of his swimmers. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

The weather was challenging in the meet at Lake Chesterfield.

“It was absolutely miserable,” said Dooley. “It was in the 60s and with a constant drizzle. About halfway through we were behind by close to 100 points, the kids were freezing, and I said, ‘You guys can end this at any time if you want to.’ So they stopped it.”

The home opener against Cool Dell was the opposite, with temperatures in the 80s and 90s. Despite being outnumbered, Gator swimmers and parents seemed to be having a great time. The well organized meets are clearly a treasured part of the summer for those involved. All four of Stacy and Rob Jurgiel’s children − ages 5, 9, 12 and 15 – are Gators.

“This is the only sport where my whole family can be on the same team,” said Stacy, a Gator parent for six years. “They all practice at the same place, compete in the same meet and cheer each other on.”

Meets Coming Up
June 23, dual meet at Missouri Athletic Club (MAC), Town and Country, 5:30 p.m.
June 30, dual meet vs. Castle Pines in Brentwood, 5:30 p.m.
July 7, dual meet vs Cedarmill in Brentwood, 5:30 p.m.
July 11, conference meet for 11-and-up at Cedarmill, 5:30 p.m.
July 12, conference meet for 10-and-under at MAC, 9 a.m.

All photos by Steve Bowman

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