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Adding to its already successful athletic department, Farmington High School began the school’s first varsity girls swimming team on the spring sports calendar.

“One of the best ways to ensure students’ success is to find ways to for them to build a connection with the school,” said Principal Dr. Nathan Hostetler. “The girls’ swim team provides that type of opportunity for kids who might not otherwise get involved.”

The team maybe small in numbers, but not in heart as each member is dedicated in making a strong showing.

“With only 10 swimmers, we are one of the smallest teams in the conference,” said head coach Morgan Wilson. “Some of the teams are triple our size. Only Perryville High School and Saxony Lutheran High School are smaller than us.”

Although this is the first season for the team, Wilson was prepared to be one of the smallest teams in conference.

“I had a pretty good idea of how many where going to come out for the team, but I was surprised by a couple who had shown up,” Wilson said. “It’s going to be a really good team.”

Wilson and her assistant coach Jenny Majeske are excited by the five freshmen who came out for the swim team this year.

“We had more freshman come out than we were expecting,” Wilson said. “If they stay together over the next four years, they will be a force to be reckoned with.”

When many students were getting ready to enjoy their Christmas break, the swim team was gearing up for competition. According to Wilson, the first meet the Knights attended was an all-conference met help in Cape Girardeau where the team competed against everyone in the conference.

“We did well at that meet,” Wilson said, “We took fourth out of six teams with many of my swimmers beating their personal best.”

The Knights scored their first victory in their second meet against Saxony and Perryville. According to Wilson, the girls took first or second in almost every heat they competed in.

To finish off 2015, the Knights swam against Oakville High School and Mehlville High School in an exhibition meet.

“We took first and second in the same heats as we did against Saxony and Perryville,” Wilson said. “Jasmine Coleman took first in the 50-meter freestyle and Taylor Tucker took second in the 100-meter breast stroke.”

Although this is the team’s first season, the camaraderie and the dedication that all winning teams have is present within the ranks of the lady Knights swim team.

“They have really come together,” Wilson said. “They cheer for each other, and they want to help each other out. They are some very dedicated girls.”

Although all of the team members are quite happy with the school adding girls’ swimming to the athletic department, the team’s three senior swimmers are very pleased the team was started before they graduated.

“I’m a glad they started to the team while I was still in school,” Coleman said. “I have been swimming for about 10 years, and I think it would be awesome to make it to state in the 50-meter freestyle. I know it will be tough but I think I can do it.”

So far, the biggest problem the team has had to face is the closing of the pool at the Farmington Civic Center. As a result, the team has to travel to Perryville Park Center or Ste. Genevieve Civic Center in order to get time in the water.

“I thought it was going to be a big problem,” Coleman said. “But the team has been handling it very well.”

Members of the girls’ swimming team are Belle Chapman, Mariana Clubb, Jasmine Coleman, Maddy Courtney, Brylon Denman, Emily Jones, Chloe Majeske, Hannah Norman, Emily Pulliam and Taylor Tucker.

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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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