A familar name is in charge of the Shakopee girls swim coach.
Jenny Carlson takes over as the head coach for the Shakopee girls swim and dive team.
Carlson is a familiar name in the swimming world and at Shakopee. Jenny Carlson is former standout swimmer for the Sabers and was an assistant coach for the Sabers last year.
Carlson is also the daughter of longtime Shakopee swim coach Kathy Carlson. Kathy coached the Sabers girls swim and dive team for 32 years before retiring after the 2011 season.
Since Kathy Carlson retired, the head coaching position for the Shakopee girls swim team has been tough to fill as Jenny Carlson is the Sabers fifth head coach since 2013 and the third different head coach in the last three seasons.
Jenny Carlson hopes to bring stability to the program and all of her assistant coaches are also graduates of Shakopee.
“I am very excited with our coaching staff as we all bring many levels of experience to the team,” Carlson said. “We all are Shakopee High School alumni and were all member of the Shakopee swimming and diving team. My main focus is to teach these girls that the measure of success isn’t based on wins and losses, being the fastest, or having the highest score, but more on working hard both in the pool and in school to be the best student-athlete they can be. We also strive to build a team-centered atmosphere and always demonstrate good sportsmanship in and out of the pool. We encourage the girls to always show respect and support for teammates and for the opposing team.”
The assistant coaches are Katelyn Nadeau, Jade Triplett, Rachel LaBarbera and Megan Chmielewski.
With the turnover in coaches the past couple of seasons, that can be tough on the swimmers and Carlson said this year’s main focus will be on the team.
“We want to focus this season on having fun and building a team,” she said. “A place where the girls can come and work hard, have fun and make new friends. We want to create a positive environment that is going to challenge them physical and mentally, and have each girl finish their season with personal best times and/or scores.”
Carlson said she has already seen positives signs from the team in the preseason workouts.
“The entire team has been working very hard these past few weeks and we have seen lots of improvements throughout the entire team,” she said.
The Sabers opened the season on Thursday with a South Suburban Conference meet against Eagan.
Next Thursday, they host Eastview at the Shakopee West Junior High School pool in the home opener.
Shakopee enters the season with talented core group returning.
Carlson said Keely Lacina and Ellie Johnson return as the team’s leading distance swimmers, while Annika Olson, Mickey Brock, Alexis Hoeben and Katie Goodwin return as the team’s top sprinters.
Other swimmers that will earn points for the Sabers this season are Erika Schroeder, Adriana Gorter, Neha Patole and Grace Jasken.
Sarah Wicklander is also a strong returning swimmer but is currently injured and won’t swim until later in the season.
Carlson is excited about the addition of Amelie Girard to the team.
“Amelie is a very talented new addition to the team,” she said. “She is a very versatile swimmer that will score points in many events.”
Shakopee has seven returning divers in Brooke Danna, Grace Van Sickle, Madison Soule, Taylor Proechel, Lilly Bengston, Emily Castillo, and Emily Rau.