Just keep swimming

Story by John Lee

Although not well known in USD 250, Fort Scott’s cooperative swim team with its surrounding districts has proven to be very proficient. 

“Fort Scott began swimming two years ago in a cooperative agreement with Parsons and then moved into their own Co-op with surrounding schools last year,” current Coach Madeline McCoy said.

Although it is her first year coaching Fort Scott’s swim team, McCoy herself has had a history coaching swimming, as well being a part of the sport.

“I have been coaching swim in some capacity for the last 5 years and before that I had assisted while competitively swimming myself,” McCoy said, “I have been a part of the competitive swim world for 12 years as either an athlete or coach.”

But regardless of the fact that swimming has only been a part of Fort Scott’s academic program for two years, it’s had an impact on the athletes who participate. 

“Not everyone sees swimming as a competitive sport…but your team sees you at your best and at your worst, so I think it makes us stronger individuals and stronger as a team,” freshman athlete Jazzlynn Rose said. 

Some might argue that only two years of experience in the swim league wouldn’t see much competition, but McCoy says otherwise. 

“This sport is extremely competitive and comes with a large amount of fun. My swimmers will attend 10 swim meets this season,” McCoy said, “I currently have two athletes who have outright qualified for state this season and I have many who are extremely close with great state consideration times.”

Rose, as an athlete on the swim team, pledges the same idea as her coach.

“You can get scouted anywhere you go…you just have to get your name out there. I can tell you the competition is so fierce between the group of 15 to 18 year old girls, it’s crazy,” Rose said.

With competition comes practice and effort, and Rose shows that both are needed to excel in the sport

“I practice every day. We get weekends off, but practicing is all we can do to prepare for meets,” Rose said. 

Even if this extended practice doesn’t give the results intended, it’s the fact that effort was given in the first place that really counts.

“These athletes come prepared and ready to work hard every day,” McCoy said, “I have athletes who are being recruited and looked at at swim meets. It is very exciting that some of them have an opportunity to swim at the collegiate level.”