Vortex of change for Princeton girls’ swimming

PRINCETON- The fall season has yet to begin, but big waves are already hitting the Princeton Tigers girls’ swim team.
In mid-July their head coach of the past six years, Sarah Durch, submitted her resignation from the position and on Aug. 1, at a school board meeting, it became official.
“It was a really difficult decision,” Durch said. “I enjoyed my time as head coach. It was wonderful to see the program grow each year.”
Durch had been mulling the decision early in the 2016-2017 school year, citing challenges with overlapping time commitments between her new job as Dean of Students and leader of the swim team.
“There were times I couldn’t work on or attend things because I would be at the pool and [vice-versa], Durch said. “It was that and the sheer volume of time.”
Princeton was Durch’s first head coaching experience. She led the team for six years and coached multiple swimmers towards college aquatics.
“I wish the new head coach and team many successes this coming season,” Durch said.
Taking Sarah’s spot will be another woman getting her first chance in a head coaching spot, Buffalo-native Annika Bordak.
“Scary and exhilarating…very nerve-wracking because I’m like ‘Oh my gosh I have so much to do and I don’t even know what questions to ask,” Bordak said of her new job. “At the same time I have a lot of coaching experience and I am excited to take on a new role.
Bordak was an assistant coach for Minnesota State University-Moorhead club and University teams last year, after setting school records in the 200 freestyle and 50 backstroke, a pool record in the 100 back and graduating as a Red Dragon in 2016.
Recently moved to St. Cloud, Bordak scoured sites on the Minnesota State Swim Websites for coaching vacancies when Princeton’s popped up. She applied for the position posted on July 21 and received an offer last week.
“I’m very optimistic. I think she’ll be great for our team,” team captain Sammie Julifs said.
Monday, Aug. 7 marked the new coach’s first time with the team at the pre-season meeting. Practices start next Monday, Aug. 14.
“It’s going to be a challenge that we just met her now,” Julifs said. “[Veteran teammates] have to get used to her. New kids coming in have to get used to the bit of uncertainty there is, but, still, very optimistic that we’ll be good.”
With the head coaching vacancy filled, the Tigers are still searching for a diving coach.