Thrust into the job of head varsity coach at the last minute, Sarah Klang did a masterful job under difficult circumstances with the Highland High boys swimming team this year.
The 22-year old Klang, working for the first time coaching high school, guided the Scots to an undefeated record in Southeast Yosemite League dual meets and first place at the league championship meet.
All of that was accomplished with just 12 swimmers on the Highland varsity boys team.
Klang, the BVarsity All-Area Boys Swimming of the Coach of the Year, didn’t let the Scots small roster size be a hindrance to the team’s success. It was a case of quality over quantity.
“I had a really good, talented group of boys,” Klang, said.
A recent Arizona State University graduate, Klang started off the year as an assistant coach for Highland. However, a couple weeks into the season she was promoted to head coach.
Despite a little bit of a learning curve regarding logistical issues, Klang transitioned into her new role almost seamlessly.
“Swimming was my life for 15 years,” Klang said. “I know how to train and stuff so that part came easiest to me. But it was all the other stuff that kind of was a bit overwhelming in the beginning.”
The highlight of the year for Klang was qualifying seven boys for the Central Section Championships.
“That was a big deal because they did it so differently this year,” Klang said. “Normally there are two Valley championship meets. The D-I and the D-II meet. Normally, Highland would be going to the Division II meet. But this year they combined it, so the times were a lot faster. There were a lot more swimmers there. It was just really good to have some kids qualify for it.”