to add girls swim team
Marion High School athletic director Jason Hett will spend the next few weeks scrambling to put together a schedule for a girls spring swim team after the district’s board gave it the green light during Monday’s meeting.
He hopes the team can get in four or five meets in its 1-5A division when the season starts March 1.
The board will approve the team as an official activity next month.
Hett says the team will give overlooked students an outlet.
“None of the girls signed on as interested participated in a spring sport that we already have,” he said.
Hett and district superintendent Aaron Homburg agreed a sport that made use of the Student Activity Center’s pool, with the possibility of hosting swim meets, made sense.
“Obviously we have the facility and that’s a huge cost you don’t have to deal with,” Hett said. “We had a swim team at Central Christian, where I was before, and we rented out the YMCA for $2,000 a season.”
Roughly 13 middle- and high-school-age girls showed interest, six of whom were juniors, along with one freshman, which convinced Hett there was a chance to build a team.
“It could potentially be the same girls next year, so we could build our schedule a little bit,” Hett said.
Marion may enter a cooperative arrangement with Centre High School because several girls there also have expressed interest, he said.
COVID-19 restrictions could limit competition the girls’ first year which, ironically, could be a boon for a squad with no seniors.
“If we could get into two meets, that would be great,” Hett said.
Homburg said the lack of a team in Marion — one of 50 high schools in the state with an available pool — surprised him years ago when he interviewed for his post.
The addition of a team may show Marion’s youth swimmers an opportunity exists for them.
“I think anything we can do that’s not going to hurt other programs we already have established and give other kids a chance to be successful is a wonderful opportunity,” he said.