HARTINGTON — Anna Reifenrath took to coaching swimming like a fish to water.
“Ever since I was young, I’ve been a pool rat,” first-year Hartington Dolphins Swim Coach Anna Refinenrath said.
Reifenrath, 19, took over coaching the Hartington Dolphins swim team this season.
Her mom, Sue (Vlach) Reifenrath swam for the Dolphins in the 1980s, when she was a kid. Upon moving back to Hartington several years ago, she resurrected the team. It has been going strong ever since.
Right now the Dolphins are on a winning streak.
Her days start at 7:30 a.m. and she tries to arrive at the pool by 8:20 a.m. She teaches two groups, along with the help from her assistant coaches, Lori and Raina Hoebelheinrich.
After that, she usually spends the rest of the day lifeguarding at the pool.
“I just really love the water, I always have,” Reifenrath said.
She loves how enthusiastic all of the kids are and how the kids are trying to stick with it, even with their summer sports. In other areas, swimming is a year round sport where as the pool here is only open in the summer.
However, Reifenrath says this is actually good for the team.
“The kids are working hard, it is better to go against teams hoping to win instead of being so far ahead that it is no longer fun.
Reifenrath had been going to school at Briar Cliff just as her mother did. Playing basketball and competing in track but will not return. She is continuing her education at the University in South Dakota-Vermillion.
Reifenrath’s family has always been heavily involved in sports. The Cedar Catholic graduate competed in volleyball, basketball, track and swimming. Her mom would always encourage her to swim and stay active.
Unfortunately Reifenrath’s mother, Sue Reifenrath, passed away in 2017 after a long battle with cancer.
“They asked me to coach and I said ‘yes’ because someone needs to carry on,” she said.