JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – There’s a little known group of athletes making waves over at Murrah High School. It’s the swim team. And it’s the only team in the Jackson Public School District.
The team is comprised of about a dozen students from Murrah High and Bailey Middle schools. And the skill levels range from those who have just gotten their fins, to sharks.
“They’re like I didn’t know we had a swim team,” Senior Auriel White’s says even some of her classmates were surprised to hear the school has a swim team.
It’s been a well kept secret for about three years now. As this swim season comes to an end, the team thinks they’ve made a bigger splash.
“Hopefully with more recognition of high school level swimmers, more colleges in the State of Mississippi will see the need to have it as a competitive sport,” the team’s coach, Kathleen Grisgby says Delta State University is the only collegiate swim team in the state.
But, scholarships weren’t the first motive for the team. It started with a question. “He said ‘how come JPS doesn’t have a swim team?’ And when your child asks you that, the only answer is we start one,” Evelyn Araujo was the first swim mom to dive into forming a team at Murrah.
For right now, the Swimming Mustangs reach for self-improvement. “If you just beat your time by a second, you’re a winner…and we’re celebrating that as if we’ve won the national championship.”
Chyna Stewart, who is now a senior, shared her first experience at a swim meet. She now uses the story in college essays, because swimming is a life lesson for them. “In the first way there I stopped midway and gave up…I got disqualified. It was my first race ever. Ever since then, and every meet that I got to, I do the best that I can.”
The team now has a state qualifier in the 50 meter freestyle, Jack Sewell. They’re putting their energy behind supporting him. “It makes me feel pretty good just to know I’m fast as a freshman. Usually, since I’m competing against all grade levels, it’s not that often,” Sewell said.
Monday’s meet ended the season for the Swimming Mustangs, and the coach says they’ve already had students asking about joining for next season.