Girls’ swim team competes with new coach


Kelly Henning, Feature Editor

The De Soto High School girls swim team is competing with a brand new coach this year, Melissa Knapp.

According to junior Becca Clancy, Knapp has been very good for the team, even though this is her first year as a swim coach.

“She doesn’t have a lot of experience, but she doesn’t let us mess around as much as we did last year,” Clancy said. “All of our times have improved so much since last year and I think it’s because of how hard she works us.”

Sophomore Kenzie Dalrymple agrees that practices are more dificult this year.

“Our coach is very dedicated to making us the best swimmers we can be, so there’s no talking her out of a hard workout,” Dalrymple said. “We also do a lot more of ‘dry land,’ which is basically conditioning outside of the pool.”

In addition to an increased difficulty level, practices have changed in a couple other ways from last year.

“In previous years, our practices used to be combined with Mill Valley, but this year we’ve gotten to do our own thing as De Soto more,” Clancy said. “It’s nice to be on our own a little bit from Mill Valley.”

Knapp has also brought some fresh ideas for improvement to practices.

“She has a lot of new ideas for how to improve our techniques. We’ve filmed ourselves underwater and going off the blocks so we can see where we need to improve,” junior Gabby Mallozzi said.

The swimmers this year are also encouraged to try new races.

“She’s very dedicated to the team and is always encouraging us to try new events that she thinks we might have the potential to be great in, whereas our last coach would just sign us up for whatever races we wanted to swim in,” Dalrymple said.

The team will continue to work hard for their goals and be pushed by Knapp in preparation for the State competition on May 20.