MSMS swim team dives in for first practice


Rufino Uribe, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The MSMS swim team prepares for the season with their first practice.

Lexi Holdiness, Staff Writer

 The MSMS swim team, led by Coach Chris Chain and Swim Captain Jessica Yan met for its first practice Monday, Aug. 23 ahead of the first meet of the year, set for Sept. 7 in Tupelo.

“I’m excited that we can have a somewhat regular practice season this year. I hope that many of the new swimmers are pumped to learn the different strokes and improve,” Yan said.

The swim team is made up of juniors and seniors with varying backgrounds in swimming and meets for practice three times a week with optional practices on Saturdays. For many members, this is the first year they have ever swam on a team. 

“I’m feeling really good about this season. Everyone on the team is having fun, and it is a super welcoming environment. The team seems really great,” junior Luke Hollingsworth said.

Practices are held at the YMCA in Columbus. The team follows COVID-19 guidelines as much as possible while in the facility. The team maintains one person to a seat on the bus to and from the YMCA. The team also social distances to prevent spreading infection and to continue being able to practice. 

“We’re just going to try to get in as many practices as we can so that we can practice our technique and maintain our shape before competition,” Yan said. “Since many of the athletes are somewhat new to competitive swimming, my ultimate goal for the team is just to make them feel more confident in swimming competitively and break time goals that I set for them.”

The beginner swimmers will have their work cut out for them before the first meet. Although swim season just started, many swimmers already have their end goals in mind. 

I just want to make sure I do my best and I encourage other people to do their best. At the end of the day, someone’s always going to be faster than you and hopefully someone will always be slower than you,” Hollingsworth said. 

A goal I have for myself is to get back in shape to place again at state — I’m really aiming for a first-place finish, but staying committed to the task will be the most difficult task I will face this year,” Yan said. “As for the team, I really want to get at least half of the team members qualified for the North State Championships.”  

The start of the swim season contributes to the start of many fall activities. Students from all different backgrounds in MSMS can unite in one more way through the swim team.

“I expect to do pretty well personally, and I hope to make it to state. As a team, we have a lot of new swimmers,” senior Andrew Yu said. “I hope that all of the swimmers will be able to see some improvement by the end of the season. I’m looking forward to practicing with our team.”