With the season coming to an end, the Jackson girls swimming team has been led by three seniors who have certainly left their mark both in and out of the pool.
The three seniors for the Indians this winter are none other than Maddie Dean, Courtney Huckabee and Emma Wilson. Dean and Huckabee have both been swimming since a young age, while this was Wilson’s first full season.
Dean, who has been swimming since she was eight-years-old, has qualified for state this season and did so as well last winter.
Maddie was a member of the 200-medley relay team that broke the school record at state. On Senior Night a few weeks back, Dean set a new personal record in the 100 freestlye by over a full second that she set at state her junior year.
“Swimming has always been my entire life, and I’ve known nothing else besides it,” Dean said. “It’s a hard sport, but you come together as a family — it’s nice to have a big ole family.
“That was really exciting to set a new PR on Senior Night — I wasn’t expecting to do anything like that. It was really nice to have all of my friends here and it was just a great night. It was a great way to kind of end my career as a swimmer even though we’re still going.”
Like Dean, Huckabee has also been swimming for most of her life and started in the summer of 2013. She was on the school-record setting 200-medley relay team with Maddie, and she qualified for state as a freshman both individually and in relays.
“I was tricked into swimming by my mom because we had been trying all of these different sports,” Huckabee laughed. “Swimming just kind of fell from the trap, and I liked it. That was the only sport I ever stuck with, so I only know swimming. It’s like a family to me, and I’ve been a part of so many different teams my whole life.”
Even though it was her first and last season, Wilson brought her 50 freestyle time down from one minute, three seconds at the beginning of the season to under 40 seconds in just three months.
“I haven’t been at Jackson my whole high school career — I had moved to St. Louis, and I didn’t do swim there,” Wilson said. “I actually did basketball, but I got injured. Ava [Walters] and her mom talked me into swimming. I was so skeptical about it at first, but I love it and wish I had started it sooner.”