CARL JUNCTION, Mo — At the Webb City High School Swim Center, the Carl Junction Girls Swim team is beginning preparations for the state swim meet. The team is just in its third season and recently earned one of its biggest accomplishments to date — a win at the conference swim meet.
“We worked for it,” said Swim Team Head Coach Stephanie Miller. “We knew it was in reach but we knew we had to show up.”
For Carl Junction senior Tyne Holt a conference title was an after thought just two seasons ago.
“We have just built up and gotten so strong and good, and these girls are putting in so much work that they deserve to win,” said Holt.
Holt continued, “Like I wouldn’t have imagined any of this.”
When you consider the adversity Carl Junction has gone through, it makes the conference title win more endearing. The team has no indoor pool of their own, and uses Webb City’s Swim and Dive center to practice.
Webb City’s heater broke during the season, meaning the team didn’t have a consistent place to practice in.
“We just had to be flexible,” said Coach Miller. “One week we had to do dry lands indoor at Carl Junction. We weren’t even in a pool. They just did what they were told and kept practicing.”
Carl Junction also is made up of only swimmers and no divers which put the team at a deficit to start the COC Meet.
“A lot of points go into diving,” said Swim Team senior Corinne Miller. “That is a whole event that we don’t have and so how we were able to overcome that and still win is just amazing.”
The team is a close knit group of mature young women who are determined and take on the personality of their strong-minded head coach.
Tyne Holt said, “She pushes us definitely super hard but I think that is why we have gotten as far as we have gotten.”
“If she hadn’t, I don’t think we’d be as good as we are really.”
“Our coach taught us life lessons, have fun, and swim fast,” said Corinne Miller. “Especially with our hard times in finding a pool, so she was out rock.”
Miller continued, “We are like a family basically. We’re always getting excited, cheering each other up when we’re down. It’s just so much fun to be around and so much energy.”
With that attitude and success, Coach Miller feels as though the program has shown it can continue to thrive into the future.
“It was the right decision to have swimming at CJ and I think we’ve proven that.”