Greenhill Welcomes Two New Swimming Coaches

Derian Herrmann

Greenhill has placed a new focus on the swimming program this year, with the addition of two new assistant coaches.

Greenhill began its search for new assistant coaches after Head Coach Dan Havrilak left Greenhill over the summer. They eventually settled on Coach Gabi Grobler and Coach Collin Baker to assist returning Head Coach of Varsity Swimming Patti Monzingo.

With wins against Hockaday, Parish Episcopal School, Ursuline Academy, Alcuin School, Cistercian Preparatory School and Dallas Bishop Lynch High School, their impact has not gone unnoticed.

Grobler, born in South Africa, came to Texas to attend college at Southern Methodist University where she swam for their swim team. While there, Monzingo watched many of her swim meets. Monzingo first approached Grobler’s roommate about replacing Havrilak, but she declined the job and recommended Grobler for it instead. Monzingo then reached out to Grobler’s coach and established the connection to Greenhill.

“I’ve always been interested in coaching and teaching, so it kind of just fell into my lap,” Grobler said.

Prior to coming to Greenhill, Baker managed a swimming school and was already teaching many kids who attended Greenhill. While looking online for high school coaching opportunities, he came across a position to coach at Greenhill.

“I have heard a lot of good things about Greenhill from the kids and the parents that I have interacted with, so I immediately applied for the position,” Baker said.

During practice, the athletes either do conditioning or technique work. Technique practices consist of fast consistent work with everyone practicing their individual stroke and receiving feedback. They also do individualized drills utilizing kicking, and another using only their arms to make sure swimmers do not rely on only using one. Conditioning practices include long-distance swim focusing on working hard and building strength.

These practices are coupled with work in the High Performance Center. However, as swimming approached the Southwest Preparatory Conference (SPC), they slowed down workout sessions.

“You take down the quantity and you add the quality,” Grobler said. “We do not want to make them tired right before their biggest meet.”

Greenhill swimming prospered during the season, giving them a solid shot to win at the Southwest Preparatory Conference championships with strong swimmers such as freshman Avery Lonergan and junior Josie Arbuckle, as well as the two new coaches. Ultimately, the girls finished fourth overall in the conference and the boys finished second overall.