SUNNYSIDE — Starting any kind of sports season can be a daunting challenge for athletes and coaches.
First year Sharks Head Coach Aydan Harrington was happy how well her team performed and how they strived to become a better team.
Harrington admitted, “It was a little nerve racking,” she chuckled, “I was a little nervous, but the kids were awesome. . . the older kids stepped in and helped teach the younger kids.” Her primary focus was teaching good sportsmanship and teamwork.
Currently attending the University of Washington, Harrington is majoring in speech and hearing sciences. She has been swimming competitively with Sunnyside Sharks Rotary swim team for 12 years and has been teaching private lessons for the past three summers.
The intangibles that go into coaching far outweigh what shows up in the stat sheet. She acknowledged both boys and girls relay teams were the most successful swim events, according to Harrington, “worked well with each other.”
Chris Villanueva was among the top swimmers and won four of eight 1st place finishes for the sharks in the Mid Valley Swim League Championships July 26-28.
Villanueva was taught at an early age of how to compete from his older brothers who wrestle for Sunnyside High School. “I want to be a state champ in wrestling, then I want to be a state champ in swimming.”
He described that his favorite style of swim is the breaststroke and favorite drill is ladder training.
The incoming SHS freshman said the workout increases endurance by requiring swimmers to swim longer distances with short rest breaks. The whole point is to swim faster in the back end of the race opposed to the first half.
Overall, Harrington felt it was a great season and had a lot of fun. Placing 5th in champions, the Sharks are looking forward to next season and continuing to make strides.
As head coach, she was pleased overall for how strong they competed together. Based on this season’s accomplishments and team growth, Harrington embraces a vision of shared optimism for years to come.