Lady Jays ready to take first steps in swim season

The Jefferson City Lady Jays will open up their first-ever swimming season at 4 p.m. today at the Sedalia Duals.

The Lady Jays are looking achieve personal goals early on, with the program taking the first steps of building.

“We are looking for individual success,” Jefferson City coach Carrie Koprowski said. “We want each swimmer to be really happy with how their season went and just be able to maintain that love of the water and love for swim they have.

“Each swimmer has personal goals, and we want to see how many of those goals we can break through and reset, then break again. We want to see how far we can get each one.”

Jefferson City brings a roster of seven girls into the season, some with experience and some without.

The two swimmers with a competitive background on the roster are freshmen Riley Oesch and Grace Rassmussen, who is Koprowski’s daughter.

Oesch and Rassmussen are two of four freshmen on the roster alongside Aurora Foss and Hailee Frenzel. Securing four freshmen, and hopefully retaining them for years to come, was a focal point for building the program with Koprowski using the YMCA’s Barricuda Swim Team as a recruiting tool.

“It’s really important,” Koprowski said. “My younger daughter swims for the Barricudas, so I get to get a sneak peak in there. The pool is packed, there are kids there from sixth grade through high school. It is imperative we keep getting these new swimmers in each year.”

Making up the rest of the roster is senior Mariah McKinney and juniors Sydney Acs and Gabrielle Gabelman.

The Lady Jays will have two relay teams, the 200-meter medley and the 200-meter free relays, consisting of Rassmussen, Oesch, Foss and McKinney.

The rest of the roster will compete in the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle races as they gain experience.

There is a learning process that comes along for the newcomers to the sport, but they are progressing quickly.

“The learning curve hasn’t been nearly as steep as we thought it was going to be,” Koprowski said. “The best assests of our team is they are very positive, they want to be here, so they are easy to coach. They want to learn how to swim and they want to be at that competitive level.”

One learning tool the team has utilized is social media.

“We’ve really been pushing social media to see what they can learn visually so they can have it in their head and be mindful of it when they are in the water,” Koprowski said.

Jefferson City will compete in seven tournament and two duals in the regular season.

The Lady Jays will participate in the Hickman Invite on Dec. 9, Tiger Invitational on Jan. 13, CoMo Invitational on Jan. 19-20, West Central Classic on Jan. 24, Central Missouri Activities Conference championship Jan. 31 and the Hickman Invite on Feb. 5 before the Class 1 District 1 Tournament on Feb. 9.