Mother and son coaches face off in Foothill League swimming competition

Mother and son coaches face off in Foothill League swimming competition

“It was definitely different seeing her across the pool deck instead of by us,” said Stroh, jokingly.   She had coached her son when he was at Valencia High School before he went to Cal Poly to swim competitively.   However, in the buildup to the teams’ final two-school meet, while they may have been apart at the pool, the kids’ expressed their excitement at seeing the two duel one another as both mother and son have been helpful presences to one another and each other’s teams, school rivalries aside.  

But temporarily breaking from their pattern of being on the same team, Stroh, the head coach for Hart High School swim, and his mom, the head coach for Valencia High School swim, saw themselves squared off in the pool Thursday at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center.   “It is tense, but we’ve learned that we want to try and be together,” said Rosenast. “As long as we’re together, really no one will beat us, and they don’t even like to play with us sometimes because we’re … yeah, competitive is a good word for us.”   

Rosenast, who has been a swim coach in the Santa Clarita Valley at both Saugus High School and Valencia High School, said it was the first time she and her son, who became the head coach for Hart High this past year, have competed as coaches.   On this, they agreed.  

“He asked me what I wanted for Mother’s Day, and I said, ‘Well I want to know what so and so is swimming,” said Rosenast, also jokingly. “And he goes, ‘Mom, pick a different gift.’”   Exchanging ideas  According to the coaches, like in many sports, winning meets or matches comes down to putting the right athletes in the right events or in the correct legs of each relay. Each meet can be different in terms of the placements, but each heat counts toward the teams’ overall point total and a chance of taking home the win.  

“They do, but it’s really funny because they refer to her as ‘Coach Chris’ Mom,’” said Stroh, when asked whether the student-athletes knew about their relationship. “They always ask me, ‘Do you know what her kids are doing?’ Or, ‘What are her kids swimming?’ “And I always tell them we’ll talk about what our kids are swimming … when we’re not going against each other.”  Chris Stroh, the swim coach at Hart High School. was coached by his mom, Valencia High School swim coach Kathy Rosenast, when he was at Valencia. On Thursday, the two teams — and the two coaches — squared off in a meet at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center. 051321. Caleb Lunetta/The Signal

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