Inaugural girls swim team works to improve abilities

Jack Lopez, JagWire opinion editor

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Consisting of 35 swimmers from Mill Valley High School and 15 from De Soto High School, practice started for the new girls swim team on Monday, Feb. 25, despite an impending snowstorm that resulted in a two-day inclement weather school closure.

For head coach Amy Hanna, the most important thing is to see improvements in individual results over the next several weeks from the relatively inexperienced team members.

“A lot of them have never competed before, so just focusing on having a team next year that has competed before will be a big step toward forming a great swim team,” Hanna said. “We aren’t looking to win every meet, but we are looking for the girls to improve on their own individual times.”

As a coach, Hanna said that the largest obstacle to overcome in the season thus far has been the limited practice time.

“Swimming is a very time-consuming sport that needs a lot of endurance and, without a pool, we struggle to improve our endurance as of right now,” Hanna said.

The lack of experienced swimmers has also been another issue for the team in its infancy. Of the 50 total swimmers, only about one third of them have previously been on a competitive swim team in the past.

One of the swimmers who has had former experience on a swim team is standout freshman Sherry McLeod. According to Hanna, McLeod “shows up for every meet and is looking to make state in several events.” McLeod, swimming competitively since she was 8, is one of the most seasoned swimmers on the team.

“[Swimming with inexperienced swimmers] can be aggravating,” McLeod said. “But it can make you feel good because you can help the other people.”

In addition to the team’s overall inexperience, McLeod said the biggest challenge as a member of the swim team was having the endurance to make it through every practice.

“You get tired and you want to quit,” McLeod said. “Swimming takes a lot out of you and you want to quit after the first lap or so and you just have to remind yourself to keep getting better.”

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