With only one season under its belt, the Farmington High School girls’ varsity swim team is looking forward to a successful sophomore season.

Already doubling in size from the previous year, Coach Morgan Wilson believes her team will be much more competitive this season.

“I am very excited about this season, especially with our newer swimmers,” Wilson said. “We have only been practicing for three weeks and their growth is incredible. They are going to be ready to swim really hard and competitive at our first meet.”

Beginning the season with 20 swimmers, Wilson sees her team being in a much better position to compete against other teams who surpassed them in sheer size during their inaugural year.

“A larger team is really going to help us competitive-wise,” Wilson said, “We were the second smallest team in the conference last year. Now we have the numbers to put girls in every event, and that will make us more competitive against every single team in our conference.”

Helping the aquatic knights stay competitive are the team's co-captains - junior Taylor Tucker and senior Emily Jones.

“We are going to be competing against teams with more swimmers than we do,” Tucker said. “But with more swimmers on our team, the more races we can enter will help us earn more points. So, I think we are definitely going to be more competitive this year.”

For the two captains, the team’s competitive growth is not the only thing that is important to them. They see the team’s growth as a sign the team will become a mainstay at the high school and maybe even the lower grades as well.

“I would like to come back in four years and see how much the team has grown,” Jones said. “It will be interesting to see just how far our team can go, and I will know I was a part of it when it all started.”

Besides being co-captain, Jones has her eyes set on a competitive season and hopes to go on to swim for Lindenwood University-Belleville.

“She is looking to compete on the collegiate level,” Wilson said. “She is looking at putting down some personal best (times) and maybe qualify for state.”

“I would love to make it to state,” Jones said. “I have a lot of hard work ahead of me, but I think I can do it.”

Not wanting her teammate to go to state alone, Tucker is going to have to do some impressive swimming this year.

“She was only six seconds off last year from making it to state,” Wilson said. “She is bound and determined to go this year.”

Help for a sports team sometimes comes from the most unusual places. For the Knights help comes from both Germany and Italy.

Foreign exchange students Elina Hagemann, from Berlin, Germany and Camilla Deiana from Italy, will be making their debut as Knights on this year’s team.

“I wanted to get the full American experience,” Hagemann said. “It seems like most kids in America play sports. I wanted to see what it was like.”

Deiana expressed almost the exact same response as her exchange sister. She wanted to experience everything about America, even its sports.

“I thought I would like to try it,” Deiana said. “I want to have a real American experience.”

The Knights will compete in their first home meet of the season starting at 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 13 against rival high school Cape Central at the Farmington Civic Center.

Craig Vaughn is a reporter for the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-518-3629 or at cvaughn@farmingtonpressonline.com

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