By Grace Newman
And that’s a wrap! With one of the biggest high school swim teams Tempe Prep has ever seen, this season was nothing short of exciting. Out of over 30 swimmers, 24 qualified for state, all of them with personal records. Many other times were just barely over the mark, something that can be easily fixed in the season to come.
So what was it that made this year so successful? Naomi Palmer explains, “We had a good energy and a lot of good goals.” They set their goals high and tried their best all season to accomplish them. At the end of the day, that’s really all a coach can ask for.
But that’s not all a team needs. Naomi goes on to say, “Most importantly, we had good leadership from our coaches and senior captains.” Their coaches, all passionate for the sport and experienced in it, always encouraged and pushed the swimmers to do better. Ehsa Murray, Josh Hudson, Jordan Ehmann, and Anna Moriaty also did their part in being examples for the younger swimmers. Although they will be missed, their legacy lives on.
Ehsa highlights one of the scariest parts about swim, when you get to the block right before a race. This is where doubt and anxiety kicks in. But you “can’t just run from things,” she says. “If I get up on the block and just dive in, then I have the capability to do great things. So don’t run away, just swim!” As long as you don’t back down and aren’t “social distractions,” everything works out.
Sometimes, however, it doesn’t work out as planned. “My favorite memory is getting disqualified from the same race twice,” Josh says sarcastically. Although that can be frustrating, most of the officials at meets are volunteers, and the team continues to be patient with them. Some of the judges, head coach Jenn Stephens explained, even after they made bad calls, would “come find me to tell me how polite and grateful my swimmers were.” Despite the disqualifications, Josh and three others–Naomi Palmer, Lily Cozens and Cora Stough – went on to state, and even made a new school record.
So if you want good memories, good workouts, Chick-Fil-A runs after meets at Phoenix Country Day School, and a fun season, then swim is the place for you. Don’t think about it, just dive in!
Article by Grace Newman, student staff writer for De Equitibus, Tempe Preparatory Academy’s student newspaper.
About Tempe Prep: Tempe Preparatory Academy is a tuition-free public charter school in Tempe for students in grades 6-12 that provides a nationally acclaimed liberal arts education based on the Great Books of Western Civilization with an exceptional math, science, foreign language, humanities, and fine arts curriculum. Tempe Prep has been recognized by the Arizona Board of Regents as having the highest percentage of college graduates in the state and has been named the #1 high school in Arizona by Newsweek (America’s Top High Schools 2016). For more information about enrolling at Tempe Prep, visit the school’s website at tempeprep.org.