Swim Offers Leadership Opportunities, Friendships


Media by Claire Lowder

After school on Tuesday, Feb. 13, girls swim & dive practices for their upcoming State competition. The team will compete at State this weekend on Feb. 16-17.

When Hannah Johns, senior, began her first year as a new student at MHS at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year, she decided to continue her then three-year swimming career.

“The sport itself is very demanding, both physically and mentally, but it’s worth it,” Johns said. “We have weekend practices and the competition at meets can get to your head.”

For Johns, a normal week during swim season means two hours of practice after school everyday and waking up at 7 a.m. on Saturday mornings for weekend practice. Practices consist of lifting in the Weight Room as well as practice in the pool. On top of this, she competes at various swim meets during the season.

“I don’t have as much time to see my friends, which is definitely a con,” Johns said. “But like I said, it’s all worth it in the end.”

Johns said swim differs from other sports because there is only one team: varsity. This means there are limited spots on the team. While this seems intimidating, Johns said it’s great because of the friendships she’s made.

The sport itself is very demanding, both physically and mentally, but it’s worth it.

— Hannah Johns

Joseph Schoedel, girls swim coach, said the ambitious after-school practices and one-team structure gives all the girls opportunities to take on leadership roles. He doesn’t assign captains and aims to keep politics out of the program entirely.

“At the end of the day, if you’re a leader and want to step up as one, you can absolutely do so,” Schoedel said.

Schoedel said the beginning of the season is mainly used to figure out the best positions for every girl on the team.

“It can be difficult because, a lot of the time, these girls are competing for the same, very limited spots,” Schoedel said. “But they’re always there for one another, cheering each other on.”

Olivia Trost, junior, said she finds the relationships she’s made from swimming have become her closest companions.

At the end of the day, if you’re a leader and want to step up as one, you can absolutely do so.

— Joseph Schoedel

¨Working towards a shared goal is a very bonding experience that ultimately brought me closer to my teammates,” Trost said. “And struggling through morning practices is also something that I think we can all joke about together.”

Trost said cooperation is the most important step to building a good team. Throughout her career, she recalls that working as a team has been the secret to her consistent performance.

“The pressure can get to you,” Trost said. “And it’s hard to get myself out of bed for practice some days, but you can see all the hard work come together at meets.”

At swim meets, Trost strives to bring her team together to achieve a victory. At a meet against Parkway West, she and her teammates were unsure if they’d be able to pull it together and place, but with support from each other, the team won.

Girls Swim & Dive will compete at State on Feb. 16-17.