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SWIMMING: Arthurs 8th-graders shatter swim records (PHOTO)

Blake Livernois (left), Lauren Truitt, Katelyn Matusik and Claudia Raubolt.



Arthurs Middle School swim team coaches Max Monas and Kathy McPartlin noticed that there was something special in the water this year in the form of four record breaking eighth-grade swimmers.

Blake Livernois, Katelyn Matusik, Claudia Raubolt and Lauren Truitt have combined to break seven of the schools 12 swimming records throughout the season and at the Michigan Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (MISCA) meet that took place Feb. 1 in Mason, MI.

Monas and McPartlin have coached at Arthurs for the past 12 years and have seen hundreds of swimmers, but the pair agreed that the ability, talent and competitive spirit of these four were special.

“Kathy McPartlin and I met the four girls when they first swam for us in the sixth grade,” said Monas. “Swimming is the type of sport where the development of athletes comes at different ages. We knew that these swimmers would be good, but we never expected that they would achieve so much so soon.”

The quartet has excelled in both individual and team swims and all four have broken at least one individual record.

Truitt set school records in the 50 and 100 yard free style races at the MISCA meet with times of 25.6 and 56.15 seconds, Raubolt broke the 50 yard butterfly with a time of 28.83, Livernois set the 100 yard backstroke at 1:05.13 and Matusik set the 100 yard breaststroke record with a time of 1:17.43.

The four have also teamed up to set the record in the 400 yard freestyle relay as well as the 200 yard medley.

Monas and McPartlin believe that teaching the fundamentals and not worrying about winning or losing is the best way to improve at the Middle School level.

“Kathy (McPartlin) and I have the same basic philosophy: teach and learn,” said Monas. “Our goal is to have each swimmer learn all four competitive strokes and swim them in a meet. For all intents and purposes we never talk about winning or losing.”

“We always talk about improving their swimming skills during practice, and times during competition.”

The four swimmers are looking forward to competing at the high school level for Trenton where they will be coached by Michigan High School Coaches’ Hall of Famer Jim Lawrence.

“There’s a lot of competition out there, and they can’t wait to compete against every other swimmer in high school,” said Monas. “If you’re asking about them being, consistently, four of the fastest swimmers in the state of Michigan, the answer is yes.”

“Middle school swimmers/divers and their parents know that the high school program, coached by Jim Lawrence, will offer these athletes the opportunity to reach their full potential.”

For these four that means the sky is the limit.

Last Updated: 2/14/2014 1:49:57 PM EST

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