When starting an athletic program, there’s a lot of learning for both competitors and coaches.
“I’m very unbiased when it comes to information,” Capital City swimming coach Carrie Koprowski said. “Because the way I think about it is I can take something from everything. Whether it’s something I liked that I want to adopt or it’s something that I don’t like and learned why I don’t agree with the decision another team is making.”
Koprowski will take all those lessons into the first women’s swimming meet in Capital City High School history tonight when the Lady Cavaliers compete in the Sedalia Duals.
After Capital City had only three swimmers during the fall boys season, expanding the roster to seven girls gives Koprowski more to work with and develop in the lineup.
“I’m coaching one district, two teams, 14 individuals,” Koprowski, who also coaches the Jefferson City swimming program, said. “I have to make sure that I’m managing each individual, it’s a delicate process. … I’m trying to collect as much data as I can for each swimmer so I can measure and set goals in different ways.”
Helping lead the Lady Cavaliers into the program’s first season are two swimmers with experience swimming for the Barracuda swim team through the YMCA in junior Kari Kemna and sophomore Alice Irminger.
“Alice Irminger, she’s really great at helping manage the clock,” Koprowski said. “So when I put them on sets, I can rely on her to know that she’s able to manage that on her own, so I can focus with a different area.”
Irminger and Kemna will swim as half of the first Capital City swimming relays alongside junior Myla Wilson and junior Braelynn Hoskins. The group will compete in both the 200-meter free relay and the 200-meter medley relay.
Senior Sophia Bashore and freshmen Aurora Elder and Elle Newman round out the roster.
All the Lady Cavalier swimmers without previous competitive swimming experience will compete in the 50-meter freestyle and the 100-meter freestyle as they continue to work on the fundamentals.
“First priority is making sure their strokes are legal,” Koprowski said of choosing events for swimmers to compete in. “Especially for my seniors, we’re focusing on having a strong freestyle because they’re only going to be in the program for one year. Freestyle is the main stroke. We’ve taken times and I know pretty much where they’re going to be seeded and feel confident that they can swim those events without being disqualified. … I set the relays up the same way.”
After today’s Sedalia Duals, the Lady Cavaliers will compete in the Independence Invitational on Dec. 16, a tri meet with Louisiana and Fort Zumwalt South on Jan. 8, the Tiger Invitational in Sedalia on Jan. 13, the West Central Classic on Jan. 24 and the Central Missouri Activities Conference Championships in Sedalia on Jan. 31.
“It’s been really great to start off in such a positive way and to have the conference leaders be so positive,” Koprowski said of her early interactions with other CMAC programs. “… It’s just been a joy to start something new and have initial support from everyone around.”