Last season was a memorable one for the Ogilvie-Mora Swim Team (OMST), capped off when two individuals and a medley relay team advanced to the State Tournament. Participants were 2019 Mora graduate Kallee Swenson, Mora seniors Jenna Williams and Sage Wren, and Ogilvie senior Olivia Hudoba. In addition Olivia qualified in the 200-meter and 100-meter freestyle, and Jenna qualified in the 100-meter backstroke where she placed seventh.
Here’s what head coach Sara Miller had to say about the 2019 season:
What’s different for this season’s team, compared to last season?
A: We’re pretty comparable to last year. Our numbers stayed the same, even with having seniors graduate. This season the girls will need to work harder than ever to achieve their goals. Last year was such a historic year, and to top it the girls will need to put their best foot forward at each practice and meet.
What challenges do you expect the team to face this year?
A: One of the bigger challenges will be how our veterans work with our newbie swimmers. We have a mentorship program that has been a great success for the swimmers bonding, and it continues to make opportunities for the girls to create an environment of unity. With such a large group of seniors, it can be intimidating for newer swimmers. We’re hoping we can bring them closer, because having that supportive environment creates friendships and a stronger team.
How does the coaching staff prepare for a new season?
A: Emily Michell returns as our junior varsity coach. She’s been with OMST for four years, before taking a leave of absence. Brooke Hastig returns as our diving coach. Having veteran coaches makes it easier to streamline practices, so the girls are able to get the most out of the time. Working together so the girls have the opportunity to swim and dive if they choose has been huge for our growing program.
What makes a player a good team captain?
A: We have a wonderful group of seniors this year and among them are the two team captains, Emily Hudoba from Ogilvie and Madison Wren from Mora. Our seniors will set the tone of practices, meets and invites. Each of the seniors has swimmers who look up to them. They’re respectful, driven, positive and hardworking; this embodies what we want our team environment to be like. The environment will help grow new leaders and captains who will continue to nourish those values.
How do you think participation in athletics affects students beyond the swim meets?
A: Whether or not you participate in a life-long sport like swimming, you develop certain skills you might not get in other areas of your life. Mental strength, determination, goal setting, hard work, collaboration and communication are among those skills that are practiced in athletics. The biggest one is believing in yourself.
Is there anything else you’d like to mention about the upcoming season?
A: These girls have done the unthinkable. They made historical events happen with this team. I know they’ll continue to do it again.
OMST began the new season on Tuesday, Aug. 27 in St. Cloud for the Apollo Relays.