Jessie Krebs walks into as nice a situation as she could hope for as the new head coach of the Meadowbrook Tomatoes swim team.
Krebs inherits a squad that’s the defending Straehle Invitational team, and the Tomatoes are loaded again with club swimmers this summer.
“We are very lucky because we have so many NBAC (North Baltimore Aquatic Club swimmers),” said Krebs, a Towson resident who ran her first practice Tuesday. “Each year, they’re new families moving into the area because they want to be on NBAC, but they are also young and want to be on a summer team. A lot of times, they join us. That’s great. And we get great new talent every year who are natural swimmers.”
The 21-year-old Krebs, a Towson High graduate who competed at the University of Richmond on a swimming scholarship, will make her swimmers work a little harder than past summers.
She’s already changed the daily practice schedule that’s aimed more at the club’s older swimmers.
“Last year, we had a lot of 25 (yard events),” Krebs said. “This year, because I am a distance swimmer, I want to make sure the older kids are swimming more non-stop. I want them to swim 100s instead of 25s. My goals is for the kids are to finish the summer with more endurance.”
The Tomatoes, who kick off the season June 21 against South Carroll at home and boast more than 100 swimmers in six age divisions, can learn a lot from the enthusiastic Krebs.
She set three Richmond school records in the freestyle and swam six years for NBAC; In 2007 she was part of a 15-18 800-yard freestyle team that set a national age group record.
Krebs also served as assistant coach at Meadowbrook last year and assistant the summer before for the team at Valley Swim and Tennis Club in Towson.
“She has such a love for the sport that she just wants to share it,” said Meadowbrook general manager John Cadigan, a former Tomatoes head coach for two years. "Her enthusiasm for teaching kids the sport and getting them involved is just infectious. She has such a love and passion for swimming."
Krebs loves the talent on her roster.
The Tomatoes return several top finishers from last year’s Straehle Invitational, including Gabriella Alaish (8-and-under), Meghan Benda (8-and-under), Liam Schindler (8-and-under), Scarlett Bonner (9-10), Caroline Benda (9-10), Greta Peacock (9-10), Kacey McKenna (9-10), Alex Lakatta (9-10), Ian Anderson (9-10), Elizabeth Fry, Samantha Ai (11-12) Marietta Gately (11-12), Brooke Ruffin (11-12) and Selah Peacock (13-14).
William Pelton (13-14), Mary Pelton (15-18), Billy Cadigan (15-18), Susie Cadigan (13-14), Ian Silverman (15-18), Will Cosgarea (15-18) and Andrew Coe (15-18) are also swimmers to watch.
“We have a lot of depth,” Krebs said. “We can put together some awesome relays. The other teams usually are very annoyed with us because our meets take so long. Even when kids don’t show up for meets, we will always have someone (to fill in). You can never count out the Tomatoes.”