The Greatwood Gators and Richmond George Ranch High swimming programs are buoyed by the talents of two athletes, Marisa “Mari” Liang and Ben Greene.
Liang and Greene just wrapped up what Greatwood 13-and-over coach Leanne Anderson told Texas Scorecard was one of the club’s best summers. With a new school year on the horizon, Liang looks to make the best of her senior season with the Longhorns while Greene will enter his junior year eager to keep displaying the work ethic and leadership qualities that earned him the captain position.
Marisa Liang, role model
Anderson, who majors in fashion at Arizona State University, touted Liang as “an excellent swimmer.” While Anderson is a few years Liang’s senior, the coach sees her protégé as an inspirational figure.
“Even though I was older than her, I always still looked up to her and wanted to be just as fast as her and compete with her,” Anderson, a Greatwood product herself, said. “She’s very humble with everything she does.”
Liang has swum for George Ranch since her freshman year and is a longtime member of the Gators, who compete only during the summers. She also competes for the Swim Houston Aquatics Center.
Liang, who was teammates with her older sister at Greatwood and George Ranch, has a state appearance under her belt. In the Gators’ 2019 summer season, she set the record in the 100-yard individual medley in the women’s 15-18 age group, clocking in at 1:05, as well as registered top times in the freestyle, breaststroke and IM.
Anderson admires how Liang wants to bring the best out of her fellow Gators. According to Anderson, Liang can be found on the pool deck “at any lane we tell her to,” troubleshooting teammates’ problems.
“Her goal at the end of the day is to just make the swimmers better,” she said.
Liang has not decided on a university to attend. Regardless of where she goes to school after George Ranch, she will be missed at Greatwood.
“We’ll be definitely missing a quality swimmer when she graduates,” Anderson said.
Ben Greene, born to lead
Rare is it for an underclassman to be thrust into key a leadership role. Anderson said that as a sophomore last year, Greene was called upon to be captain for George Ranch.
“He’s actually one of the guys who had to step up for the swim team, and he actually became a swim team captain this past year when he was a sophomore because they didn’t have any older boys,” she explained. “He definitely stepped up to the plate, and took that captain position.”
For Greatwood, Greene set top times in the backstroke, the IM and the butterfly in the men’s 15-18 age group. According to Anderson, the leadership Greene showed for the Longhorns will transcend over to the Gators in the future.
Having swam for most of his life, Greene radiates confidence when in the water.
“He definitely brings his talent, that’s for sure,” Anderson said. “Every time he’s in the water, you know he’ll put out a good race. . . . At the swim meets, once the goggles are on, he’s ready to go.”
She added that Greene is his teammates’ biggest cheerleader who enthusiastically roots them on when he emerges from his own relays and they go in for theirs.
Anderson said that Greene, whose twin brother Eli also swims for Greatwood, has not settled on a college just yet. He does, however, have two older brothers who attend Texas A&M University, so there is a chance he could be heading to College Station in the fall of 2021.