Meet the 2021 Girl’s Swim Team

November 30, 2021

Last year, the Kirkwood Girls’ Swim and Dive Team brought home the first team state title in the history of Kirkwood. The banner hangs above the pool in the Walker Natatorium,  showing the history and success made during a season during a pandemic. It hangs over the pool where the girls practice everyday, as this year’s season gets underway, the girls say they are working to build upon that momentum and continue to aim for success. Meet some of the girls of this year’s 2021 team.

Emma Trask


Emma Trask, pictured left, is a senior on the Swim and Dive team this season.



50 free, 100 free, 200 free relay and medley relay 


How long have you been swimming?

I have been swimming on a summer team since I was six and did club swimming for about 3 years.


What has been your favorite part about the Kirkwood team?

I like being able to hang out with all my friends after school. It’s a fun environment, and we all have a really good time together. I enjoyed the outings the team has had. We went to Flying Spider, lunch and IHOP.


What has this year been like following the State win? 

The team knows that now they have achieved winning state, [so] there’s the potential to do really well this year. Some of those really good girls are still around. 


How has this season been with it being your senior season? 

It’s a little bittersweet. I don’t think it has set in that it’s my last swim season. I definitely will be really sad when that does happen, but so far it has been really great. 


Sophie Howell


Rachel Finan

Sophie Howell, junior, says her favorite bonding memory is when the team gets spray tans for state.



100 back and 200 IM

How long have you been swimming? 

I started swimming when I was six-years-old in summer league, and I started club in sixth grade. 


How did you decide swimming was your main sport?

When I was in sixth grade I got more serious with club swimming. I saw my practices were paying off, and I thought it was fun. I loved the feeling of the water, and [the water] made me want to do it all the time.

What is your favorite memory from swimming?

My favorite memory was when I realized that I qualified for state freshman year, and me and my sister [Paige Howell] celebrated together. 


What is your favorite way to bond with your teammates?

Before state [we] get spray tans. It’s really fun to go with everybody [to get spray tans and] my favorite part is the state training with the smaller team. [The smaller team is] the people you can tell have worked really hard and they want to do well at state.


Sonya Lang



Sonya Lang, freshman, is starting her first year of Kirkwood Swim and Dive.



50 free, 100 free and 100 breast 

How long have you been swimming?

“I started swimming when I was in third grade up until sixth grade. Then I swam on and off in middle school. In high school I decided to go for it and try out for the team.”


Do you have a favorite part about the Kirkwood team so far? 

I love the coaches, [Coach Beasley and Coach Andrew]. They were my summer coaches, [and] they make [practice] feel very safe and fun. I have [had] coaches [in the past]  where you dread going [to practice], but they make practice very fun. 


Do you have a favorite bonding memory with the team?

We were talking about Adele’s new album, and then Beasley started playing Adele during practice. Everyone was singing the lyrics as we were doing our swim sets. 


How is it following the State season last year?

There’s a lot to live up to. The freshmen this year have to push ourselves, because we don’t want to let anyone down. We want to make the seniors proud, but we also want [next year’s freshman] to have [other girls]  to look up to.


Lilly Strickland


Rachel Finan

Lilly Strickland, sophomore, favorite stroke is the breast stroke.



100 breast


How long have you been swimming? 

I’ve done summer swim team since I was five or six, but I’ve been swimming for a club team for five years. 


What are you looking forward to most this season?

I’m looking forward to getting back in the water. [I want to] see the best I can do and how much I can improve my times. 


What are your favorite parts about the team? 

Last year with the pandemic, sports were one of the only ways I could meet people. [Sports were]  a great way to meet the upperclassmen, and they’re all super nice and outgoing. The winter season is stressful with finals, but [swimming] is a great way to make new friends and let all of that stress out. 


What are the team’s goals for this season? 

The team’s goals are definitely going to state again because it motivated everyone last year, and I think the goal for this year is to get as many people as we can to go to state. 

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