By Joycelyn Cabrera
A coach has been confirmed for the newly introduced Maricopa High School swim team, and she’s an award-winner.
Laura Logan, 49, plans to share her experience and training with MHS swimmers.
Logan began swimming at the age of 10, competing in her hometown of Springfield, Illinois, for the next eight years. She qualified to compete in Swimming Junior Nationals in high school, taking her to Orlando, Florida, and earned a full-ride athletic scholarship to Northern Illinois University.
Logan moved to Arizona and in 2004 started Arizona Seals Swimming Academy at Central Arizona College.
“I started the Seals because we moved to Casa Grande, and they don’t have anything,” Logan said.
Her son was one of the biggest reasons for starting a swim team, giving him options to continue after he had been swimming for teams in Illinois.
Logan took over as a high school swim coach in Casa Grande from 2007 to 2015, using the pool at the CAC campus. The school qualified swimmers for state competitions under Logan’s coaching. She trained state-champion swimmers within three years. Logan was also voted “Men’s D2 Coach of the Year” for AIA Swimming.
“I think my greatest success as a coach was when a young man came out his freshman year to swim on the high school swim team, and he shows up, and he does not put his face in the water,” she said. “He puts the biggest sour-puss face you’ve ever seen a kid do. His senior year, he was the freestyle anchor on all the relays and was part of the group that I took to state. We finished fourth.”
The school program came to an end with the closing of the CAC pool. Logan moved Arizona Seals to Copper Sky as a club team no longer affiliated with a school.
Three years later, Maricopa High School, in conjunction with Copper Sky, is introducing a Rams swim team. Logan anticipates 25-30 students for tryouts.
“I’m so excited,” said MHS sophomore Olivia Byers, who has been coached by Logan for three years. “I’m really interested to see who’s going to come out for the team.”
Freshman Connor Schrader has also been a Seal for three years. A multi-sport athlete who doesn’t like “the feeling of sitting around not doing anything,” he’s looking forward to the formation of the high school team.
“It will be a big advantage on the club team,” he said.
While Logan will not have another role at MUSD, her primary focus on the swim team allows her to be limitless in terms of how many students can make the team.
“I never turn anyone away; I’ll work with anybody,” she said.
Logan’s biggest goal in her new position is to teach her athletes lessons through the sport itself, including being goal-oriented.
Logan spends the summer with Arizona Seals Swim Academy and teaches several classes at the Copper Sky pools.
For Olivia, being a swim team member is not just about laps in a pool. “The team is kind of like a family.”
This story appears in the July issue of InMaricopa.