Swim Changes Coaches and Location

The Swim program has all new coaches, practice times and pools.


Assistant coach Grace Scovell teaches the swim team a new drill Nov.9. The team had their first practice at University of Missouri-Kansas City. photo by Maggie Hart

by Tess Jones, Instagram Editor

When Sophomore Ellie Fuemmeler walked into the swim informational meeting, she was expecting things to be as they were last year. Yet when she left she was “nervous.” The swim program made two big changes to this year’s season.

Last season, Fuemmeler said, “There were like 50 girls on swim, this year it’s the top 24 who will make it.” Cutting the team in half was something that Fuemmeler or head coach Andrew Meyer were not expecting to happen.

Andrew Meyer, the new head coach explained that there were many different reasons for these changes but the biggest one was that because their old pool got sold. Last year the team practiced at Longview Community College Recreational Center, which was about a thirty-minute drive, the team would all take the vans to and from practice. However, Longview sold their Recreational Center and Aquatic Center to the City of Lee’s Summit, this eliminated any possibility of the team having their full practice at Longview this season.

While the coaches work with the City of Lee’s Summit, they will be practicing at UMKC Swinney Recreation Center in the afternoon from 3 to 4 and in the morning from 5 to 6:45.

Besides the new times and locations for practice, the swim program has all new coaches. “We have a completely new coaching staff, including myself as the head coach, the old St.Teresa’s head coach four years ago Andrew Wilcox and Grace Scobell a St.Teresa’s alum,”  Meyer said.

He fears that these two big changes will be difficult for people to understand.

 “The unfortunate thing is that we are at the will of the pools,” Meyer said.    With the availability of the pools and practice times, they will only be able to have 24 girls on the team. When swimmers like Fuemmeler heard that they were only allowing 24 girls, she started to get nervous that seniority would not be a deciding factor when making the teams. Meyer explained that the way tryouts will go this year will be a drastic change from last year. They needed to find an objective way of making the decisions for who will be making the team.

“In order to take all of our bias out of it, we are doing a time trial swim meet for the tryouts.” This will allow the coaches to decide who is on the team by their numbers, not other factors.

When Fuemmeler heard about how tryouts would be this year,  she explained “if you are 25th on Tuesday, then you’d be cut, and that potentially the team could be all freshman.”

Though the team will be different and the girls are nervous new assistant coach Andrew Wilcox believes  “Coach Meyer is putting his branding to the team to make it ‘his own, and making it the best it can be at this time.”

Even though this season will be a different one for the girls, coaches and fans,  Meyer believes that “With the change of coaching we will bring a new vision and new atmosphere that will really push them to be their best, the morning practices and constraints are really going to push the swimmers to do their best work every practice, and this will give us a really strong team this year.”

Fuemmeler agrees that with the new way of tryouts it will make the girls really think if they want or deserve the spot. Though  Fuemmeler and other girls are nervous about tryouts this year and practices, they believe that this season might be one of the best.

This year “The team will be more cohesive, and will be much closer than they have in the past couple of years,” Wilcox said.