Hurricanes swim strong for new coach

Pictured is the 2022 Columbia Hurricanes summer swim team, which went 6-2 on the season and placed second at the Kaskaskia Conference Meet in Sparta on July 23. At far left is first-year Hurricanes head coach Maggie Laux.

The Columbia Hurricanes enjoyed a 6-2 season and second place showing at the Kaskaskia Conference Meet this past weekend under first-year head coach Maggie Laux.

Laux, who started as a lifeguard at Columbia Bath & Tennis Club two summers ago and found herself helping as assistant coach of the Hurricanes last season, took over the program  from Bart Jones in 2022.

β€œI learned a whole lot from him and got to know the team and league, as I swam for a season as well,” Laux said. β€œAs the season finished last summer, Mr. Jones asked if I would want to be the head coach for this summer, and to be totally honest I was scared to do it because it was a big responsibility but I wanted the challenge because I loved the community, team, and the sport. Also, I knew that there would be a whole team of people with me to help every step of the way. So when the team officially asked me to be the head coach, I gladly accepted this position.”

Maggie also had support from her younger brother Max, who served as an assistant coach.

β€œI still had a lot of learning to do but the team, my assistant coach Max and Mr. Jones were always there to help out,” Maggie said. β€œThe whole community came together to have a great season and I can’t wait for another one!”

The only losses for the Hurricanes this summer were to the league champion Waterloo Piranhas, by 27 and 15 total points. The Hurricanes placed second behind the Piranhas in the conference swim meet this past weekend at Sparta.

The top-five point winners for Columbia this summer were 10-year-old Teddy Jones (179.75), 14-year-old Charlie Hake (179.25), 18-year-old Max Laux (173.25), 15-year-old Sophia Nelson (167) and 8-year-old Brock Row (163).

The Hurricanes set five new team records this summer. 

Maddox Bieber posted a time of 17.47 seconds in the ages 9-10 boys 25 meter freestyle.

Gabe Nelson posted a time of 1:05.97 in the ages 15-plus boys 100 meter freestyle.  

Jones posted a time of 21.69 seconds in the ages 9-10 boys 25 meter backstroke and in the 25 meter flystroke he posted a time of 21.70.

Max Laux posted a time of 1:18.07 in the boys ages 15-plus 100 meter back stroke.

For more information on the Hurricanes, click here or email

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Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.
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