Coaches report: Minot swim and dive HC Emily Jensen
The Minot Majettes girls swim team ended the 2020 fall season with a third place finish in the North Dakota State Tournament on Saturday, Nov. 14.
Individually, it was MHS junior Jordn Wolsky who earned the team’s best placing, coming in fifth in the 100-yard backstroke with a final time of 1:02.14. In relay competition, the group of Ava Williamson, Sam Vonbokern, Reese Goodman and Payton Luzardo produced Minot’s best finish as they earned third place in the 200-yard freestyle, clocking in at 1:43.08.
The Minot Daily News asked Majettes’ swim and dive coach Emily Jensen about her team’s overall performace this year, as well as who some of her club’s most improved swimmers were. Here is what Jensen had to say via email.
MDN: What were your expectations heading into the season, and did your club meet those expectations?
Jensen: I am happy with a third place finish. Our kids swam and dove well. We have a lot to look forward to with our program.
MDN: What were some of the pleasant surprises of the 2020 campaign?
Jensen: Our biggest surprise would be the contributions from our younger kids, and the depth that created for our relays. When you have a handful of girls to pick from for relays, it makes the team a bit more versatile. Many of those kids were new to the program this season. Each swimmer on a relay at state this year will be back next year, which is exciting.
MDN: Who were the swimmers that made the most dramatic improvements from this year compared to last?
Jensen: Oh goodness, the list could be so long. Emma Rouse sticks out as an athlete that showed great gains in her overall versatility to swim different events. Some new swimmers that seemed to really boost their performance from the training were Caelin Flaten, Reese Goodman, Samantha Vonkokren, and Gabby Osborn just to name a few.
MDN: Finishing fifth at state a year ago and third this year, what has been the key to establishing consistency during that time?
Jensen: We were very pleased with a third place finish overall. It was unique this year, in the fact that it was a bit anticlimactic at the end. We weren’t able to be with our divers, there were not an extensive amount of people in the stands, there was no presentation of awards so our little celebration came on the bus.
MDN: What was the biggest challenge for you as a coach while navigating your club through the coronavirus pandemic?
Jensen: Not necessarily a challenge, but the biggest bummer would be getting a call that an athlete was quarantined, especially when we got into state tournament time. Losing those athletes for the state meet was a little heartbreaking for them, and as a coach your feel for them.
MDN: How many graduating seniors are on the team, and what is your message to them as they prepare to move on from the Majettes program?
Jensen: We had two seniors graduate our program this year. We wish them well, as their life has lots of exciting new adventures ahead. Swimming and diving was only the beginning of the great things they will be involved in.