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Photo by Theo Tate
Summers-Port’s Caleb Thomeczek performs a dive in the 13-14 boys’ division.
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Photo by Theo Tate
Summers-Port’s Maggie Evans gets ready to perform a dive in the 15-18 girls’ division against Sunset Hills on June 16.
Annie Evans’ debut on June 16 as Summers-Port diving coach was a successful one.
The defending Southwestern Illinois Swim Association diving champs began their season with a 43-33 victory over the Sunset Hills Stingrays at Sunset Hills Pool, giving Evans her first win as Summers-Port coach.
“It went pretty smoothly,” Evans said.
Now, the Sharks are looking to win another SWISA championship under Evans. A year ago, Evans helped Summers-Port capture a SWISA title by winning a championship in the girls’ 15-18 division at the league championship meet at Summers-Port.
“That will feel pretty good,” Evans said. “I’m sure all of the kids will love that and I would, too.”
After competing with the Sharks’ diving team for 10 years, Evans was hired in April to replace Jessie Miller as the Sharks’ head coach. Last year, Miller stepped down after 10 years so she could take care of her new baby. Matt Quigley resigned as assistant coach after three years to go to school in California.
“I asked if there’s anybody who wants to be the dive coach, I really wanted to do it,” said the 17-year-old Evans, who will be a senior at Alton High this year. “I think my interest showed.”
Evans said after a month, she found out that coaching is much different than competing in meets.
“I’m not used to kids back-talking me,” the Summers-Port coach said. “But I’m getting used to it. My mom helps me a lot.”
Evans is coaching a team that has 20 divers; most of them are boys.
“I see a winning team,” Evans said. “It’s going to be good, especially with a bunch of boys. They’re not afraid to do anything. I can pretty much say, ‘Do this,’ and they’ll do it.”
Luke Davis, Stephen Stobbs, Jack Rea, Luke Norton, Victor Hull, Jack Evans, Caleb Thomeczek, Jack Perulfi and Leo Rose are among the boys on the team. Last year, Davis won a SWISA title in the 8 and under boys’ division.
Annie Evans said Thomeczek has been a solid addition to the team. He finished second in the 13-14 boys’ division against Sunset Hills.
“He’s a pretty quick learner,” she said. “I think in the first day of practice, he learned how to do a pretty hard dive, like the one and a half. He surprised me. I’m pretty proud of him.”
Jack Evans, who is the coach’s brother, placed first in the 13-14 boys’ division against Sunset Hills. He finished second in the 9-10 boys’ division in the SWISA meet last year.
Rose, who placed fourth in the 11-12 boys’ group in last year’s SWISA meet, won the 15-18 boys’ division against Sunset Hills.
Ellen Anderson, Callie Mossman, Carson Brown, Paige Mouser, Mia Eickhoff and Maggie Evans — the coach’s sister — are the only girls on the team. Last year, Brown and Mouser won SWISA championships.
Against Sunset Hills, Anderson (8 and under), Mossman (9-10), Brown (11-12) and Mouser (13-14) picked up first-place finishes. Eickhoff (13-14) and Evans (15-18) placed second.
The Sharks have just two dual meets this season. Their next dual meet will be against the Paddlers Pirates at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 12, at Summers-Port Pool.
“That’s always a challenging one,” Evans said. “We always look forward to diving with them.”
The SWISA championship meet is scheduled for July 16 at Paddlers Pool.
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