Morgan High School junior Sage Earl can sum up her experience on this year’s swim team in one word: awesome.
“There really is no other word for it,” she said. “The coaches are awesome, the team is awesome, and it really has been just an awesome experience. It’s just been amazing to learn and progress and grow and look back and see how much you’ve improved.”
Improvement has been the hallmark of Earl’s season. When asked which swimmers have made significant strides over the course of the year, Earl was one of the first athletes head coach Kelly Toomer named.
Even at the region championship two weeks ago, Earl was still improving. While some swimmers have peaked after three months in the pool, Earl is not one of them. Instead, she seems to be getting stronger. In her two individual events at region, she continued to make vast improvements. In the 100-yard breaststroke, she knocked 1.64 seconds off her previous best time. In the 100-yard freestyle, she was even better, shaving off 3.33 seconds to finish in 14th place out of 27 swimmers.
What does Earl attribute her development to?
“A little competitiveness that I’ve gotten from my family,” she said. “But also amazing coaches, private lessons and teammates who believe in me.
“We really have a unified team,” Earl added. “Everyone is so inviting and congratulatory. There’s just a vibe with this team that makes you want to do better and keep going.”
Earl plans to continue swimming next year along with playing tennis and softball. She was Morgan’s No. 1 singles player in tennis this past fall and reached the state quarterfinals after defeating the top player from Region 15 in the first round.
Competing in an endurance sport like swimming will undoubtedly help Earl as she faces future challenges.
“Swimming is all a mental sport,” she said. “If you don’t think you can do something, you won’t be able to do it. But if you believe that you can, then you can beat people, you can take races, you can move up and ultimately dominate and be the best you can be.”