Toll Gate swimming coach Michael Seidenberg knew Mikayla Rogers was a good swimmer. He coached her older sister, Becky, at Toll Gate, so he heard about times and success in the youth ranks.
But that doesn’t always translate.
“You have conversations with parents and you hear times, but you never know as someone’s coming up, whether they’re going to be successful in high school,” Seidenberg said. “You wonder if they’re going to be tired of it or burnt out. But Mikayla had the right attitude about it the whole time.”
And that attitude is already paying dividends.
Just a sophomore, Rogers was one of the top swimmers in Division II this year, and she made a splash at states, as well.
“I wanted to try to do better by just dropping times and doing the best I could do for my team,” Rogers said. “I think that's what I did.”
After a strong dual-meet season, Rogers won the 100 butterfly at the Division II championships and finished a very close second in the 500 freestyle. At states, Rogers finished fifth in the 100 butterfly and seventh in the 500 free.
“Her mental attitude is great,” Seidenberg said. “She’s always upbeat and working hard. She does a great job helping out the other girls and she’s always willing to work hard herself.”
In addition to her postseason success, Rogers cracked the Toll Gate swimming record books. She has the second-best 500 freestyle time in school history and the third-best time in the 100 fly.
“Last year, my goal was just to make my letter,” Rogers said. “I exceeded that and I was happy. I just wanted to do the same thing this year.”
The season was a success in other ways, as well.
“Everybody on the team got together more and bonded,” she said. “When everyone gets together, it just makes the season a lot better.”
The Titans are hoping to increase their numbers over the next few years and become a stronger squad. In terms of individual goals, the sky is the limit for Rogers.
“I’m thinking she’s going to keep getting better,” Seidenberg said. “It all goes back to her attitude and how hard she works.”